I grew a bumper crop of basil this year, so I’ve been making a lot of pesto. My lemon verbena plants have been prolific as well. Rather than dry the heavenly-scented lemon verbena leaves, I combine them with basil and cashew cream into a bright green pesto sandwich spread.
This versatile spread also works as a pasta sauce or a dip for crackers. It’s fabulous all by itself, eaten by the spoonful, if you love pesto and cashews as much as I do. The basil color dims to a dark brownish green after exposure to a lot of light, so you need to eat it quickly.
I blend it with vegan parmesan cheese from my organic supermarket, plus a little salt and lots of fresh garlic, but it contains no olive oil or any other nuts. If you don’t have lemon verbena (and why not?), simply use more basil, but the flavor of the pesto won’t be as rich or sweet.
Vegan Pesto Sandwich Spread
This delicious dairy-free sandwich spread also works as a pasta sauce or a dip for fresh vegetables or crackers or chips.
- 2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
- 1/2 cup packed fresh lemon verbena leaves
- ¾ cup grated vegan parmesan cheese
- 1 ¼ cups cashew cream
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 6 cloves fresh garlic, sliced
Put all ingredients into a blender or food processor, and blend until smooth.
Scrape into a glass container and press plastic wrap directly on the surface of the spread to prevent it from turning brown.
Store in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Use as a sandwich spread, a dip for crackers or raw vegetables or tossed with pasta.