There are some word combinations that make anyone’s ears pop up, and oil-free vegan pesto always seems to do the trick. Let me start out by talking about pesto. I love it. I love basil on its own, but when its diced into tiny pieces and mixed with pine nuts, my blood really gets pumping. I love pesto on my pasta, pesto on my pizza, pesto on a sandwich (it is the only condiment besides ketchup that I will allow on a sandwich or burger). However, a traditional pesto is really, really, really bad for you, especially in the amounts that I like to use. It’s full of olive oil and most commercial pestos also contain Parmesan cheese (a big vegan no-no). This used to be a problem for me, until I realized that I could take a hint from Fat Free Vegan and replace all of that olive oil with vegetable broth. I further decided to include some spinach in my pesto, because I am a firm believer in the nutritional properties of that little superfood.
The result is a pesto that you can feel good about. I use my food processor for this recipe, but if you do not have one, and your knife skills are up to par, you should do just fine. This pesto goes great on a pizza in place of tomato sauce, on a vegan caprese sandwich (use the daiya cheese and warm it ever so slightly), or over some whole wheat pasta. It keeps in the fridge for about a week, so it’s a good make-ahead item for those of you who, like me, see the inside of our cubicles more than the inside of our kitchens.

Easiest Pesto Ever

  • 2 cloves garlic, quartered but not chopped
  • 1 c. basil
  • 1/2 c. fresh or frozen spinach, if frozen, don’t forget to drain and pat dry
  • 1/4 c. pine nuts
  • 1/3 c. vegetable broth

1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse on high for about 10 seconds, or until smooth.