Mint Pomegranate Pesto (gf + vegan)

Pesto is one of those sauces that is just so easy to throw together and allows for a lot of creativity. This recipe will probably take less than 15 minutes start to finish, but everyone who tries it will be super impressed and think you spent hours cooking for them. This pesto is similar to traditional basil, with a little added twist. The mint leaves and pomegranate seeds really brighten up the flavors for spring. I also subbed nutritional yeast for the traditional parmesan to make the sauce dairy free and vegan. I think the nutritional yeast is a bit lighter than the cheese, but either one is delicious!

Since the sauce is so fresh, it pairs wonderfully with zoodles (aka zucchini noodles). To make zoodles, you just need a spiralizer and a zucchini! From my experience, the small handheld spiralizers work way better than some of the huge monstrosities being sold out there. Some people eat their zoodles raw, but I like to toss mine around in a hot pan for a few minutes to cook them a little, but not so much that they become mushy.

Ingredients:

1 ½ cups packed fresh basil

½ cup packed fresh mint

¾ cup olive oil

Juice of 1 lemon

¼ cup nutritional yeast (or grated parmesan if not vegan/dairy free)

¾ cup pine nuts

½ tsp salt, plus more to taste

¾ cup pomegranate arils (aka those juice-y seeds)

Steps:

  1. Place all ingredients (except the pomegranate) in a high-speed blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Once blended, stir in the pomegranate arils.
  2. Serve on your favorite pasta and store leftovers in the fridge.

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