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Chef Arlyn's Pesto--Traditional and Vegan

Two metal spoons, one long on shorter, each with a sample of green thick sauce, on a white plate, on a wooden table top in natural lighting

Visually the two pestos look similar, though the traditional version (on the long spoon) shows some oil separation. (Kayte Young/WFIU)

Function Brewing uses pesto on sandwiches, and lately they've been converting many of their sandwich components to plant-based versions so that they can offer vegan options for most of their sandwiches.

It's important to Chef Arlyn Llewellyn that plant based versions of her recipes are as well-developed and satisfying as the originals. Here, the chickpeas and the nutritional yeast are providing the body and the savory flavor that the cheese brings to the sauce. She describes them as siblings and notes that they are different, but they are equally delicious.

Listen to Chef Arlyn walking through the steps of these recipes on this episode of Earth Eats.

Pesto with Cheese and Without Cheese

Traditional Pesto

(yields approx 1 cup)

2 oz basil

1 cloves garlic

1 oz aged gouda

1.5 oz toasted cashews (5 mins at 325, allow to cool before proceeding)

2 tsps lemon juice

1/3 cup neutral oil

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

In the food processor, mince garlic cloves. Add cheese,cashews, lemon juice, salt and pepper and process until finely ground. Coarsely chop basil leaves and add to the food processor. Begin to process and while basil is starting to break down, slowly stream in oil.

Vegan Pesto

(yields approx 1 cup)

2 oz basil

1 clove garlic

0.75 oz drained chickpeas

1.5 oz toasted cashews (5 mins at 325, allow to cool before proceeding)

2 1/4 tsp lemon juice

0.38 oz nutritional yeast

3 Tbsp neutral oil

¾ tsp kosher salt

½ tsp black pepper

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