pine nuts

pesto alla genovese - Vegan in Athens

Pesto alla genovese vegan

Basil is one of my favourite summer herbs, not only for its bright green colour but also for its tiny, beautiful flowers, its fragrance, the flavor that adds to my dishes and also by the fact that I can always have fresh basil in my pots, especially during spring and summer. Unfortunately, when the weather gets colder, my beautiful basils start to wilt, but in spring, their seeds grow and new basils appear! So in the summer days, when basils are on their best, I like to pick their leaves and use them in several dishes. Today I decided to make a tasty pesto alla Genovese, using the traditional Italian recipe, replacing though parmesan cheese with nutritional yeast flakes.

Something that I like to do when I have plenty of basil leaves, is to prepare larger quantities of this pesto sauce and keep it in glass jars in the fridge for long time. By this way, we can have “fresh” pesto sauce all year long.

pesto alla genovese - Vegan in Athens

Pesto sauce is ideal for spaghetti, but we can also use it over toasted bread for a tasty bruschetta.


  •    50 g or 2 cups of basil leaves
  •     100 ml olive oil (slightly less than half a cup)
  •     2 garlic cloves
  •     2-3 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)
  •     2 tbsp apple cider vinegar or white vinegar or lemon juice
  •     ½ -1 tsp salt
  •     ½ -1 tsp freshly ground pepper
  •     3 tbsp pine nuts or sunflower seeds


  1. Wash the basil leaves and dry them with a towel or paper towel (or spin them in the salad spinner).
  2. Roast nuts in a frying pan or in the oven until golden brown (it only takes few minutes).
  3. Add to the blender all ingredients together and blend 2-3 minutes until homogenized.

pesto alla genovese - Vegan in Athens

Bruschetta with basil pesto
(5 persons)

Toast 10 small slices of bread of your choice on the grill or in a toaster. Spread on each slice 1 teaspoon pesto and serve.

Spaghetti with basil pesto
(5 persons)

  1. Boil 1 packet (500 gr) spaghetti of your choice according to the package directions.
  2. Drain the pasta and rinse with water under a tap (but not too much if you don’ t want them to become cold).
  3. Drain well and pour back into saucepan.
  4. Add the pesto, mix with the pasta and serve.