Creamy Roasted Garlic Pesto

Creamy. Roasted. Garlic. Pesto: It’s what’s happening on this Sunday in the Vibrant & Pure kitchen.

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I recently purchased the TJ’s cauliflower gnocchi and the purchase gave me a hankering for some pesto- it just seemed like the perfect accompaniment to the gnocchi. I wanted it to be super creamy yet also dairy-free- so I decided to throw in some roasted cauliflower (and plenty of garlic, of course).

This pesto is insanely good. It’s also super customizable… Here’s the deal: I don’t typically measure anything when I cook-unless of course the recipes are for my cookbook 🙂 I just see what I have in the fridge and try different additions out based on what I have. Throughout the recipe I’ll give little notes for substitutions or the option to omit entirely- because this recipe really only needs a few components to work and taste amazing- the rest is just icing on the cake. I do, however,  recommend following this exact combination if you can, because it turned it super well.

This pesto is even a winner in the health department: filled with leafy greens, aromatic herbs, immunity boosting garlic, healthy fats from olive oil, walnuts, and hemp seeds, and some cruciferous vegetable action via the creamy cauliflower base.

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Creamy Roasted Garlic Pesto

       Yields: About 3 cups

1/2 head of cauliflower, roughly chopped (about 3 cups worth)

5 garlic cloves

2 shallots, peeled and halved (can sub with 1/2 onion, red or white)

1 tablespoon avocado oil

1/4 teaspoon onion powder

salt and pepper, to taste

2 cups arugula (can sub with spinach or extra herbs)

1/2 cup basil

1/2 cup mint (can omit and simply use 1 cup basil)

1 teaspoon fresh oregano or 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano (optional)

1 cup walnuts (can omit or sub with sunflower seeds if allergic to nuts)

1/2 cup hemp seeds

1/4 cup nutritional yeast (optional)

 

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Roughy chop the cauliflower and add to a sheet pan with 4 peeled garlic cloves and 2 peeled and halved shallots. Toss in avocado oil, onion powder, and a generous pinch of salt and pepper, then roast for 25 minutes, or until vegetables appear browned and slightly caramelized.
  3. While the vegetables are roasting, prepare the rest of the pesto. In a food processor, combine 1 clove of raw garlic, walnuts, and hemp seeds and puree until finely minced. Next, add in the arugula, basil (and mint, if using), and oregano (if using), pulse until greens are finely chopped. Add 1/2 cup olive oil and 1/4 cup nutritional yeast and puree until fully combined.
  4. Remove the cauliflower, garlic, and shallots from the oven and let rest until mostly cooled. Add all contenta to the food processor along with 1/4 cup of water and a pinch of salt (taste and adjust) and puree until creamy and fully combined.
  5. Serve with gnocchi, zucchini noodles, lentil pasta- or whatever type of pasta you’d like. This recipe makes 3 cups worth, so you can store it in an airtight jar in the refrigerator.

 

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