CREAMY MUSHROOM PESTO (raw-vegan)
Pesto is another one of those dishes that we can all let our creativity out with. Most people think of PESTO as a sauce that is made of basil, olive oil, garlic and pine nuts- it can be raw or cooked -but mainly cooked. I like to think of pesto as a sauce that has a creamy texture with basil but with an array of other ingredients that can be used. Don’t get me wrong, pure basil pesto is great but why not jazz it up or try different flavors? While in “test kitchen mode”, I opened up the refrigerator and let my taste buds dictate the ingredients list. I have to note that my eyes played a part in it too. I have a beautiful basil plant in my window garden, this prompted the basil part. In my refrigerator I had some plump mushrooms, a ripe Meyer lemon, fresh bulb of garlic, a bag of whole raw cashews, some vibrant heirloom carrots and sunflower sprouts…. salivating! I am really glad this only took about 5 minutes to make because now the tummy is growling. Now that the ingredients are ready, it is time to put them all together to make CREAMY MUSHROOM PESTO. Out came the blender and grandma’s manual food processor…the rest is history. So next time you want to step away from the usual, give this quick, healthy, vibrant and TASTY dish a try.
NOTE: I am listing the ingredients in order according to the process I used, this will make it easier to make.
SERVES 4 ENTREES (or 8 side dishes see below)
1 cup whole organic raw cashews (whole nuts = best quality = best flavor)
1/4 cup water
5 large fresh organic garlic cloves
1/4 cup water
16 large fresh organic basil leaves
3 cups fresh organic white mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup water
1 large ripe organic Meyer lemon, zest and juice
6 cups organic carrots, shred or spiralized vermicelli sized
1 cup fresh organic sunflower sprouts (sometimes called sunflower greens)
In your blender add the cashews and chop as fine as you can. Now add 1/4 cup water and blend on high until smooth. Add the garlic cloves and 1/4 cup water and blend on high until smooth. Cut the basil leaves in quarters and add to the blender. Top with the sliced mushrooms, the final 1/4 cup of water, lemon zest and lemon juice . Blend on high for 2 minutes until creamy and smooth, this is your pesto. Wash and spin dry the sunflower sprouts. Evenly distribute (minus four pinches–see picture) the shredded carrots on 4 serving plates in the center. Top each with 1/4 of the pesto, a pinch of carrot shreds and 1/4 of the sunflower sprouts. Serve and enjoy! NOTE: this can also be served as a side dish: just distribute the carrots, pesto and sunflower sprouts amongst 8 small plates the same way as above…(the picture is shown as a side dish serving).