I absolutely love making pestos in bulk. I store and freeze them in 4-ounce containers. They thaw beautifully and are so versatile. Use pestos for salad dressings, marinating meats and fish, or simply instead of jarred pasta sauce.
But a cheese free pesto, really? Yes. Here’s why.
1. They freeze better and last longer without the dairy.
2. What’s a finished pasta dish without some cheese, right? By omitting it in the original recipe, there is less guilt involved when loading on the parm!
3. Ever have a vegan or lactose-free friend come by for dinner? I see a lovely dairy free pasta dish in their future…
Need I say more?…
You can substitute a plethora of fresh baby greens and herbs like spinach, basil, cilantro, even parsley. Pecans are less buttery than the traditional pine nut pesto, but still add some protein and substance. Try using almonds, macadamia nuts, walnuts, or omit if you’re allergic!
Arugula Pecan Pesto
5 (packed) cups baby arugula (this is about 1/2 a pound)
1/2 cup pecans
2 large cloves garlic, halved
1 t Celtic sea salt
1/2 t freshly ground pepper
1 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Place all ingredients except olive oil in a blender or food processor. Pulse until greens and nuts are finely chopped. With the motor running, pour in the olive oil until just blended. Over-processing your pestos may cause your greens to turn brown (and really, who wants a brown pesto?). Pour pesto into 4-ounce plastic, or freezer-safe glass containers. Label and store. Your pesto will keep up to 2 months in the freezer. I prefer to thaw at room temp or in the fridge overnight. Enjoy!