Photo Credit: Elizabeth Newman
Pesto is a classic combination of flavors we love – and while you can buy some dairy free variations at the store, why not whip some up at home in the form of this basil dressing?
Basil, pine nuts, garlic, parmesan, olive oil, salt. That’s the anatomy of the most classic Pesto alla Genovese, and it’s a fabulous no-cook sauce that is good on everything from pasta to crostini and everything in between. While we adore the authentic version from Genoa, Giada has created some delicious variations throughout the years (hello, piquillo pepper pesto and pea pesto!). While we believe in honoring the classics, we welcome innovative new recipes with arms wide open! After all, the word “pesto” simply translates to “to pound” or “to crush” – so as long as that’s involved in the process, we say you’re good to go. All to say, in our newest spin on the flavors of pesto, we’ve come up with a dairy free (and vegan!) version that everyone can enjoy.
Dairy-free pesto isn’t a new invention, and you’re sure to find 8oz deli cups of it at your favorite health food stores – however, why not make it at home? You can whip it up at a fraction of the cost, with a higher yield, and zero preservatives. Pesto is one of those products we think you should always make, never buy, and dairy-free is no exception!
This tasty and versatile basil dressing has a secret ingredient that gives it a ton of body, along with that signature nutty flavor of pesto (without having to splurge on the pine nuts!) – almond butter! Since almond butter is already such a creamy consistency, it gives the basil dressing a great texture to boot. A touch of lemon brightens it up perfectly, in signature Giada fashion.
You can use this sauce for salad dressings, dips, toss with pasta, or drizzle over a vegetable side dish to give it some oomph. When you’re blitzing it up in the food processor, you can control the amount of water you add for your desired consistency – so use it for whatever you want!