I could eat Pesto sauce all day long, but I tire of having it on wheaty, fattening pasta. So I am always trying to come up with other ways to give my food the delicious taste of pesto sauce, such as tossing it with vegetables (try cauliflower or zucchini) or using it as a sandwich spread on wraps or break. But as I said, this gets boring.
I am a hedonist; I do not do well with deprivation. I wanted be able to eat something rich and smooth, something I could enjoy in the same way I used to savor a silky liver pâté, or dig a petite knife into a ripened, warm, gooey, pungent Brie, but without the meat or dairy. In other words, I want a low-carb Pesto decadence and I found a way to have it!
I came up with this delicious and satisfying Pesto Pâté, good enough to serve to company.
Here is how I prepare it.
Dedadent Pesto Pâté
In a food processor (mine is only a tine $10 food chopper) add:
- 2 Cups fresh basil, tightly packed (or 3 cups loose leaves)
- 1/2 Cup extra virgin olive oil, best quality
- 3 Garlic teeth/cloves (or 3, 1/2 tsp crushed garlic from the jar)
- 1 Tsp freshly squeezed lemon or citrus
- 1/4 Tsp ground black pepper
- 1/8 Tsp salt
Process the above by pulsing until reduced … but not puréed!
Fancy food processors might mince too finely, so go bit by bit. You do not want this to be soupy, but rather you want it chunky while still spreadable. Think about cutting hair; once cut, you can’t put it back, but you can always cut more. So take your time and before you think your are there…
… This is when you want to add:
1 Cup whole, salted cashew nuts (if using unsalted, you’ll need to add more sale to the mix)
1 Cup grated Parmesan cheese (Vegan? Use a cheese substitute).
- Process until the mixture is chunky but still spreadable.
- Taste it. If you want a tad more lemon, or cheese, or salt, just adjust until your taste buds are dancing.
- Now, pack your mixture into any container and either freeze this… or chill.
If frozen, just set the container on the counter for a few hours counter until you can tip it, intact, onto your platter.
If refrigerated, tip & scoop onto your serving platter. Don’t worry if the shape comes out goofy because this mix is malleable and easily sculpted after it is on the plate.
Keep refrigerated on the platter until you are ready to serve. Then place your crackers at the last minute.
- If you are Vegan, omit the Parmesan and replace with a vegan option.
- Gluten Free? Just find a good rice cracker in place of wheat.
- Slice large pieces of tomato or zucchini and use these in place of crackers for spreading.