Say it Ain’t So

A recent diagnosis involving the words “lactose” and “intolerance” struck fear into the hearts of the eaters and cookers here at POD.

And the gardeners.

veganpestobasilSee all this lovely basil? Ordinarily it would get chopped into a luscious Parmesan-rich pesto. But Parmesan-rich isn’t the greatest thing right now, even with its relatively modest lactose count. (And we’re trying to save those handy pills for things like, you know, ice cream. And cheese dinners.) ‘Cause ya’ know what? It’s kinda’ nice not to be tooty and stuff all time. Seriously.

Before traipsing too far down that unpleasant path, let’s get back to the basil in question. Thanks to an enterprising and totally amazing Endurer, vegan pesto has entered the world of POD.yeast

Never thought the day would come.

And while something so appetizingly named “nutritional yeast” hammered that fear in good and deep, this recipe, adapted from Food 52, actually worked pretty well. Yeah, you’ll notice that it’s dairy free, despite the recipe’s promise, but you’ll still enjoy it. POD promises.

Vegan Pesto
Makes 1 generous cup

  • 2 cups tightly packed fresh basil
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped (to taste)
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste (you’ll need more of both than your instincts would have you add)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  1. Use a mezzaluna to coarsely chop the basil, garlic, and pine nuts.
  2. Put the chopped basil, garlic, pine nuts, and the remaining ingredients into a bowl and use an immersion blender until you’ve achieved your desired consistency. (Nope, it’s not a terribly traditional recipe, but whatevs, it works.)

Pesto+String Beans+Potatoes+Pasta = Yum

We do love our beans and our basil. Add them together? Heaven.¬† Here’s a super quick and super simple weekday dinner — a traditional Ligurian dish, actually. Mmmmm. Starchtastic.purple beans

First, butcher your basil. Be ruthless, it’ll grow back bushier and happier than ever. Then, make your favorite pesto.

pesto ingredients chopped

serves 2
Parmesan, grated
1 c. beans, snapped into 1-2″ pieces (we used purple, French, and yellow string beans)
2 medium-sized red-skinned potatoes, cut into 1/2″ cubes
8 oz tortellini
Pesto

1) Bring a large pot of water to boil. Toss in a bunch of salt.
2) Add potatoes, boil 5 minutes.
3) Add tortellini, boil 2-5 minutes.
4) Add beans, boil 5 minutes (adjust bean cooking time to your personal preference)
5) Drain, toss with pesto, top with cheese. Eat.