Calling all pesto lovers… There’s a new kid on the pesto block today and she’s looking fierce! This cauliflower pesto recipe is a dairy free, vegan alternative to pesto and a sneaky way to up your vegetable intake.
I blitzed the cauliflower into a small crumb and then roasted it in the oven to release the nutty flavours, crisping it slightly in olive oil for added texture and then combined with traditional pesto flavours of fresh basil, pine nuts, garlic and lots of delicious extra virgin olive oil.
Great stirred into veggie noodles, faux rices and to top on grain free crackers. I like to throw in a few sun dried tomatoes too for a Mediterranean twist. Stay tuned, flavour variations on this cauliflower pesto recipe coming soon! I hope you enjoy.
Cauliflower pesto recipe
- 1 cauliflower
- 2 small cloves of garlic
- Pink Himalayan salt
- 100g pinenuts
- 150ml extra virgin olive oil plus 3 tablespoons for roasting
- Good handful of fresh basil (30g)
- 1 lemon
- Cracked black pepper and fresh basil leaves to serve
Preheat the oven to 180C.
Remove the leave and stalk from the cauliflower. Chop into chunks and blitz in a food processor until it resembles a ride size consistency. If you don’t have a food processor, you can use a grater.
Transfer to a baking tray and mix through a good pinch of salt and 3 tablespoons of olive oil (or coconut oil for a sweeter stronger flavour). I used olive oil as I wanted more of a traditional pesto flavour. Option to roast the garlic for a sweeter, less intense garlic flavour. If you choose to do this, use 3 cloves.
Roast in the oven for about 20 – 25 minutes until you can see it’s slightly toasted with a few crispy brown bits.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
Meanwhile, peel and chop the garlic, pick the basil leaves from the stalks and juice the lemon. Place the chopped garlic, basil, lemon juice, pine nuts, extra virgin olive oil, pinch if salt and cauliflower in a food processor (I used a Magi mix) and blitz. You may need to scrape the sides a few times with a spatular and blitz for a few more seconds until combined.
Finally sprinkle with a good pinch of cracked black pepper, a few basil leaves and a touch more lemon and salt to taste.