I know what people mean when they say they’re in love and they want to shout it from the rooftops. Once a week I have a sneaky little affair. I gather all the unused strawberries from the past week’s shop, pick an overflowing handful of fresh basil from my windowsill pot and whirl it into strawberry basil pesto sauce.
At first I thought it seemed like an unlikely combo – strawberries + basil?
But now I’m in love. I’ve seen a few recipes on the Internet for strawberry basil pesto, but the one I used was by Emily at Daily Garnish (I promise I don’t always use other people’s recipes!) . I prefer Emily’s because it’s a sneaky vegan recipe. I never would have guessed there was no dairy involved. The only change I made was adding a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar to give it an extra little kick, and I used pre-ground almonds rather than sliced because my blender is a pile-o-crap.
In the future when I’m not living the big city life my kitchen will be decked out with every utensil and machine known to man. But until then I’m sticking with the caveman blender.
There are so many things I love about this recipe.
1) It’s vegan but you’d never guess (could also easily be made with gluten free pasta). Most pestos are heavy on the cheese and calories. This is heavy in neither, and you absolutely won’t miss the cheese or calories.
2) It’s QUICK! This is the perfect weeknight meal. It’s light, refreshing, tasty but it still fills you up if made with whole wheat pasta.
3) You don’t need a fancy food processor or fancy blender to make this. The soft strawberries combined with delicate basil leaves and olive oil will blend into a smooth sauce with even the most basic of blenders.
4) Makes great leftovers. I stored it in a glass jar because the flavors are delicate and sometimes plastic dishes retain faint flavors from a previous dish. I hate that! One time I put greek yogurt in a plastic pot and then when I got to work and tried it I spit it straight out. It tasted faintly of onion from a chili I’d had in it previously and I still shiver thinking about that.
Once you go glass you never go back.
In your next week’s shop buy a few extra strawberries and try this out. I promise you won’t regret it!