Today we want to show you how to make a creamy vegan tahini pesto, combining some of the tastiest ingredients of Mediterranean cuisine: sesame paste, basil, and lemon. It's ready in only 5 minutes, and you'll need just 5 simple ingredients. Let's do it!
Pesto is a world-famous Italian condiment made with fresh basil, garlic, pine nuts, olive oil, and parmesan. The ingredients are pound together with a pestle and mortar into a creamy paste. It's a versatile sauce often used with pasta, as a topping for pizza, or stirred with potato mash. It's also great smeared on roasted vegetables, spread in sandwiches, and stuffed in savoury pies.
But classic pesto is not dairy-free or vegan. So we made our tahini pesto to compensate for that. This recipe blends the nutty taste of sesame paste with the sweet aroma of basil and the freshness of lemon. It makes a wholesome, healthy condiment that will enrich any dish with its unique flavour. And being dairy-free, vegan, and nut-free, it's safe for practically everyone to enjoy.
Instead of using parmesan, we opted for nutritional yeast. Nutritional yeast is a heat-deactivated yeast sold as flakes or powder, fortified with vitamin B12. It's a great alternative to parmesan, thanks to its strong, cheesy flavour and nutritional benefits.
Tahini is a spreadable paste made from hulled sesame seeds, and it's a staple in Middle Eastern cuisine. In this recipe, we used it instead of olive oil to give the pesto a rich, roasted flavour. Also, weight-by-weight, tahini has fewer fats, more proteins and fibres than oil, making it a worthy substitute.
If you want to prepare a big batch of this vegan pesto, pour it into a jar and cover it with oil before sealing it. Stored this way, it will keep for a month in the fridge. Once opened, it will stay fresh for up to a week.
Rinse the lemon. Then grate the zest leaving behind the bitter white pith underneath the peel, and juice it.
Now, add the lemon zest and juice to a food processor, followed by fresh basil, tahini, garlic powder, nutritional yeast, and the given water.
Season all with a good pinch of salt.
Blitz the ingredients, scraping down the edges with a spatula a few times in between pulses until you have a smooth and creamy pesto.
Transfer the pesto into a jar or air-tight container and keep it in the fridge for a week.