Vegan Parsley Pecan Pesto
Have you heard of the term Locavore?
It was the 2007 Oxford Word of the Year. Locavore is a movement, not just a word. It means using locally grown ingredients and taking advantage of seasonally available food. It was a phrase coined by Jessica Prentice, who along with Dede Sampson and Sage Van Wing, started a movement to challenge Bay Area residents to eat only foods grown or harvested within a 100 mile radius of San Francisco for the entire month of August.
As us Nomads have moved away from cities into regional areas, we’re buying more local produce. As convenient as Coles and Woolies are, I’m trying to move away from relying on their stores due to: 1) Coles investing in coal (this is the biggest way for me to remove my support from anything), and 2) both companies allegedly using questionable negotiation tactics with farmers.
Living in Yamba, our fruit and veggies were bought from the local farmer’s markets every Wednesday. I haven’t become familiar with farmer’s markets in our new area on the Coffs Coast yet, but I’m looking forward to doing so soon.
The other convenience of living regionally is growing your own produce at home. We rent, but are lucky to have landlords who’ve planted lemon and lime trees, papaya trees, and herbs like parsley and coriander.
In keeping with the Locavore theme, I’ve used parsley and lemons from our backyard, garlic from the local Nourished Earth health food store at Moonee Beach, Cashew Parmesan from Extraordinary Foods at Byron Bay, and Bellbowra Organic Pecans. I’ve been lucky to meet Terry Bates (co-owner of Bellbowra Organic Pecans with his wife, Dawn Thornton) through work in the Coffs Coast area. His certified organic pecans have been awarded the trophy by Australian Pecan Growers Association for the best grown Australian pecans multiple years in a row. Extraordinary Foods I came across through the vegan community on Instagram, and they are super generous with their product samples when you order online.
This Vegan Parsley Pecan Pesto recipe is one based off my dear internet friend Lorraine Elliot (more famously known as Not Quite Nigella)’s Parsley Pinenut Pesto. I was a bit nervous making variations to her recipe, but it turned out wonderfully 🙂
Vegan Parsley Pecan Pesto Recipe
- 2 cups of parsley leaves
- 3/4 cup chopped Bellbowra organic pecans
- 3/4 cup Extraordinary Foods Cashew Parmesan. This is a “dry” cashew cheese. Feel free to substitute this with other types of cashew cheese, but you’ll have to play around with quantities to get it right, particularly when using “wet” cashew cheeses
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled, smashed and diced or crushed
- salt and lemon juice to taste
- Optional: touch of chopped fresh chili. I accidentally got chili stuck in my blender in one batch of this pesto, and the addition was a surprise hit with me!
Easy cooking! – Place all ingredients bar salt and lemon juice in your blender, and process until you’re happy with the consistency. Add your salt and lemon juice to taste at the end.
For a super simple meal, I added gluten free pasta and frozen veggies. I boiled Organ’s Rice and Corn Tortelli (organic, gluten free pasta) as per the instructions, and added some mixed green frozen veggies for the last few minutes of cooking. Then I drained everything, topped it with the pesto, stirring it in so everything was nice and coated.