Food from the Farm: Teri's Miso Pesto

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Earlier this month, my family and I had the great good fortune to visit a dear friend who lives in Orleans, CA. Her beautiful market garden fed us with its fruits and beauty, and we came home refreshed and inspired. One of the treats Teri made was this lovely cheese-free pesto, perfect for those who avoid dairy products, and a welcome change for those of us who eat pesto morning, noon and night this time of year. This recipe should be treated as a starting point - you may want to omit the lemon, or double it!, add more miso, reduce the salt, etc. Taste as you go, and you will end up with a vegan pesto you enjoy. You can also make half a recipe if you have less basil available.

  • 3-4 cloves of garlic
  • 8 c. basil leaves
  • 1 c. olive oil
  • 2 rounded T. white miso (also labeled 'mild' or 'mellow')
  • 2-3 t. lemon juice
  • 1/4 t. salt, or to taste
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 1 c. toasted walnuts or almonds

Put the garlic cloves, about half of the basil, and about half of the olive oil in a food processor or blender. If using a blender, add the basil in smaller quantities. Blend. Then add the remaining basil and oil and blend again.

Add the miso, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Blend again. Add the walnuts. If using a food processor, pulse briefly to incorporate the walnuts but leave the pesto a little chunky. Taste, adjust flavors, and serve with pasta, sandwiches, fish, potatoes, grilled vegetables, or eggs.

By: | Dec 28, 2012 07:53 AM | Permalink
Sure does sound good..I am definitely trying this out!

By: Danielle Levitt | Aug 29, 2012 11:34 AM | Permalink
How much does this make? 8 cups of basil sounds like a lot. My pesto recipes usually call for 2 cups, and makes plenty for my family? This way i can scale it down so we don't make too much.

By: | Aug 28, 2012 03:11 AM | Permalink
Be sure your miso is organic. Most other soy is GMO.

By: Andrea Mabey | Aug 27, 2012 04:40 PM | Permalink
I have never heard of miso. A quick internet search says its a paste made of fermented soybeans. I'm assuming you are not growing the soybeans in your garden and fermenting them yourself. So do you buy it at the store like I buy peanut butter?
Margaret Paskert says:    (Aug 27, 2012 12:00 AM)

You can find miso in the refrigerated food sections of health food stores. It generally comes in plastic tub containers. It makes an excellent broth when mixed with hot water.


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