I'd definitely say that basil is by far one of my favorite herbs. First off, if you have the cilantro soap gene or just are naturally sensitive to herbs (totally know this is a thing)...I'm so sorry. I literally *inhale* the fresh smell of basil every time I get my hands on a good bunch. Possibly a bit weird but oh well it is most definitely elite in so many kinds of dishes!
I've mentioned this before, but when traveling one of my absolute favorite things to do is (obviously) find new restaurants and try new foods. I've been lucky enough to visit Asheville, NC, twice in the past year and it is definitely a foodie's dream in North Carolina. The inspiration from this recipe comes from the restaurant Nine Mile and their vegan pesto pasta I had. It didn't explicitly say it was made from coconut or anything but I could definitely taste it in their and it was by far one of the BEST vegan pestos I've had.
So, last week I gave it my best shot to create my own creamy coconut pesto. A little fresh basil, some of my favorite seasoning nutritional yeast, plus a couple other key ingredients just all thrown into a blender & boom -- this beautiful pesto was born.
Creamy Coconut Pesto (vegan + optionally gluten-free)
Pasta of your choice (I used Trader Joe's gluten-free brown rice fusilli)
1 cup fresh basil
1/4 cup coconut milk (from the can)
1 tablespoon of hemp seeds
1 & 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil
1/4 of a ripe avocado
2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast
Seasonings: salt, pepper, garlic powder
Other optional ingredients:
**quick disclaimer** I accidentally did a lot of eyeballing while making this instead of writing down perfect measurements so I did as best as I could to list out the amount of everything above! Definitely just keep tasting throughout making your sauce and adjust ingredients as needed.
Add your basil, coconut milk, hemp seeds, olive oil, avocado + nutritional yeast to a high-speed blender or food processor along with seasonings to taste
Blend till well combined and set aside
Cook your noodles according to the package and set aside
If you'd like to add in some veggies, I cooked cherry tomatoes, baby bella mushrooms & spinach on the stovetop seasoning with some salt and pepper
Pour the sauce over your noodles and then stir in the veggies + vegan mozzarella cheese if you're using
I topped with fresh basil + hemp seeds and enjoy!