Maybe its the Italian in me, but who doesn't love a good pesto? It's great with so many dishes. Think about it? It's perfect when paired with a chicken dish, does wonders to pasta, and even goes great on a pizza! And don't get me started on eggs and of course a gluten free panini. FORGET ABOUT IT!
Now although there is nothing wrong with the original variety, I love to switch things up, adding a new take on an old favorite. This isn't hard for a celiac to take into consideration, when one of the main ingredients (just like in so many other foods we eat) is comprised of one or more ingredients that don't sit well with our stomachs.
This may come as a surprise to some of you, but the main ingredient in pesto that gives it such a distinct flavor - the pine nuts - actually don't sit well with many of us. It has nothing to do with the seed itself. It's all in the way it is processed. You see, several varieties note on their packaging for chances of cross contamination - so many celiacs (myself included) avoid them.
I also don't do well with cheese - so no parmesan for me. Which isn't too out of the ordinary, because research has shown that there is a link between celiac disease and lactose intolerance.
So that's why I concocted a recipe that would work for me.
I knew it had to be dairy free and not contain pine nuts. That couldn't be too hard right? Let me tell you, it wasn't. In fact - it was almost too easy.
So friends, here's what I came up with . . .
Gluten Free Vegan Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto
(Makes one mason jar full of pesto)
- 1/2 Cup of Basil
- 1/4 Cup of Cashews (cashew pieces are perfect!)
- 1/2 of an Avocado
- 1/2 Cup of Sun-Dried Tomatoes
- 2 Tbsp of liquid from Sun-Dried Tomatoes
- 1-2 Tbsp of EVOO
- 1 Tsp of Garlic
- 2 Tsp of Crushed Red Pepper
- Pinch of S+P
Got a food processor? My advice is to throw everything in there and blend it all together. If you don't have a food processor a NutriBullet works great for this recipe, too. You could also go old school and whip out the mortal and pestle if you really wanted.
**PRO TIP: If the consistency is too thick - add in 1 TBSP of water to help blend the mix to your desired preference. EVOO works well for this too.