Super quick post as I utterly fail to battle my way through the backlog and get a lengthier post up (sorry, sorry, sorry).
Vegan pesto made using miso paste to replace the parmesan cheese, incredible! I was utterly stuck trying to think of something for dinner tonight that a) the fussy boyfriend would eat b) didn’t require much work and c) didn’t require a trip to the shops.
Pasta was suggested but I wasn’t really in the mood for a tomato based sauce and didn’t think I had much of anything else in. A rummage in the fridge drawers however pulled up some rather wilted parsley and some slightly sprightlier basil. So, pesto.
Except I knew I had no cheese. So, vegan pesto?
I wasn’t sure what vegan pesto would use instead of cheese. My guess was nothing, but a quick Google turned up this recipe that suggested using miso paste as a replacement. It seemed odd, but the logic made sense; one salty umami hit replaced by another.
I also knew I had a jar of miso in the fridge, so vegan miso-pesto it was. As I didn’t have pine nuts in the house I replaced them with toasted walnuts instead, inspired by the unbelieveably good mushroom udon with walnut miso that I’d recently eaten at Koya (seriously. Go there. Eat that. You won’t be sorry).
My scales are broken at the moment so I just measured everything by eye and tasted as I mixed. There are more accurate measurements on the inspirational post behind this, but they are in American cups and so utterly mysterious to me (another reason for me not measuring anything).
Parsley walnut miso pesto
Makes…an amount (I haven’t decanted it into a jar yet, enough for two plus leftovers though)
- Bunch of flat leaf parsley (about the size of a supermarket packet)
- Half as much basil as parsley
- A generous handful of walnuts
- 1 heaped tbsp of miso paste (I used Clearspring unpasteurised barley miso)
- Extra virgin olive oil/rapeseed oil
- 1/4 lemon
- Two cloves of garlic (if they’re big you may only need one)
Put the basil and the parsley into a food processor (I threw them in stalks and all) together with the miso paste.
Heat a dry frying pan and lightly toast the walnuts, then add them to the food processor. Peel the cloves of garlic (easiest way, smash them with the broad side of a knife, then pull the skin off) and add to the walnuts and herbs. Blitz everything together.
Once everything’s ground down, with the food processor still running, slowly pour the oil in through the feed tube. Again, I didn’t measure how much I used so just carefully free pour and stop every so often to check the consistency; you’re aiming for a loose paste.
When you’re happy with the consistency squeeze in the juice from the lemon and give it one last mix. Taste, and if you think it needs more of any of the above ingredients i.e. more lemon, more garlic, more miso, add them and blitz again.
Like most pestos I imagine this will keep in a sterilised jar in the fridge for about a month, but as I’ve only just made it I can’t say for sure.