What to do with an enormous basil plant? Make dairy free pesto! Over pasta with roasted vegetables and shrimp, it’s the best of summer in a dish.
I wasn’t lying to you about that enormous basil plant conundrum. That thing sprouted on up like none other, much to my surprise! I thought the San Francisco summer (read: super foggy) was going to off that beauty right away. It reminded me of the magic bean plant we had when I was younger – we had no idea what kind of seeds we planted and suddenly had we delicious beans. It was the family secret for a long time, until Nate informed that they were just plain old runner beans. Something super common, and not very magical at all. Way to kill this city gal’s childhood on her magical urban farm!
So we had all of this basil, and I had been craving pasta, so I went straight for a pesto. This pesto has all of the creamy, cheesiness of your typical pesto, except its vegan! This was my first time cooking with nutritional yeast, and I really liked it. It adds a tanginess, umami flavor that really is uncanny to parmesan.
I roasted a whole ton of vegetables from the CSA box extravaganza I mentioned last week and used a new quinoa-brown rice pasta from Trader Joe’s. I added in roasted shrimp, and mixed everything together with my freshly made pesto. Topped it off with lemon juice and a little more of my freshly grown herbs for good measure!
This is a crowd-pleasing dish, and tastes great hot or as leftovers cold. I am looking forward to whipping up this pesto from my prolific basil plant all summer, and using it as a sauce to a variety of pasta dishes.
- ½ cup fresh basil leaves
- 2-3 tbsp nutritional yeast
- ¼ cup olive oil, plus additional for roasting the vegetables and marinating the shrimp
- Salt and pepper
- ¼ cup toasted pine nuts
- 1 cup uncooked pasta (I used brown rice pasta)
- 1 large zucchini
- 1 head broccoli
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes
- 1 dozen shrimp, peeled and devined
- Juice of 1 lemon
- In a plastic bag, marinate your shrimp in the lemon juice and a tbsp of olive oil
- Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F
- Coat/spray your cherry tomatoes in olive oil in a pan and pop in the oven
- Slice your zucchini thickly into rounds, break up your head of broccoli into florets. Coat/spray with a little olive oil
- minutes in, add the vegetables to the pan
- minutes in, add in the shrimp
- Bring a pot of water to boil and cook the pasta to directions
- In a food processor or blender, mix the basil, nutritional yeast, ¼ cup olive oil, and pine nuts. Blend/process until smooth
- Drain the pasta in a colander, and set in a large serving bowl
- Add in the roasted vegetables and shrimp to the bowl
- Fold in the pesto
- Serve and enjoy - hot or cold!
If you like this, you’ll love: Creamy Vegan Spring Vegetable Pasta