I wanted to make pesto with them but regular recipes I found all ask for parmesan cheese and the Vegan recipes call for nutritional yeast.
Well, I can't eat dairy - so no parmesan cheese - and I don't have any nutritional yeast in the house. I also have trouble with anything that tries mimic cheese. It's the one thing that is extremely difficult to replicate well. So, I thought about the role that the cheese plays in a pesto. It's a fat and an acid that, in combination, rounds out the raw garlic flavor.
I decided to improvise. I chose to use avocado as the fat and lemon zest + juice as the acid. I also chose fattier nuts (macadamia and hazelnut) than the usual Pine Nut pestos.
The result turned out fabulous! I can't wait until I make bread tomorrow so I can smear some pesto all over a baguette slice.
I didn't measure so these are really just approximations, but here goes:
- Approximately 3 cups of garlic scapes with their flowers, cut into 2-3 inch pieces
- 2/3 cup whole macadamia nuts
- 1/2 cup roasted hazelnuts
- 1/2 an avocado
- Zest and juice of two lemons (more if needed)
- 1 cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 tablespoon sea salt
Combine all the ingredients in a food processor (not a Vitamix because it will liquify it, but a proper food processor) and turn it on. Blend until everything is combined and taste to make sure your flavors are balanced. Adjust/Season as needed.
The macadamia nuts really hold up to the garlic and the hazelnuts give both needed texture and slightly smoky flavor. The lemon juice adds both sweetness and acidity and the avocado gives it a creamy, delicious base.
When you store this pesto, put some cling wrap on the skin of the pesto to preserve it's bright green color, and then put the lid on your storage container. Air is the enemy of all pestos.