Pestos didn’t appear on my radar until I began to introduce a high raw diet into my life. I didn’t even know what a pesto was for the first 30 (something) years of my life. Taco Bell didn’t offer pesto on their menu board. hehe
Once I started tinkering around with pestos, I thought there was only way to make them and that they had to be green. Truth is I just was never exposed to much variety in foods, till I went down the raw rabbit hole :) If you thumb through my “dips, spreads and sauces” category, you will see that I have gotten rather creative in my pestos. BUT they are all green. Today, I broke free and made a red pesto! Such a rebel, such a rebel.
The flavors are simple on their own, but complex tasting combined. As you read through the ingredient list, your eyes will stop and linger when you hit the Brazil nut cheese. That is another recipe of mine that is soooo easy to make. The recipe for the Brazil nut cheese will make more than what is needed for this recipe but I am sure you will find many other ways to use it. If you don’t want to make the cheese, you can just add 2 Tbsp spoons of crushed Brazil nuts and 1/2 tsp nutritional yeast. Also, be sure to use ripe tomatoes. Unripe ones will decrease the flavor. If the tomatoes are not very sweet and you want to elevate that a bit, add 1-2 tsp of sweetener. Taste test as you go! Well, I hope you enjoy this pesto. Have a blessed and happy day, I insist!
Place the sum-dried tomatoes in a small bowl and add enough warm water to cover them. Set aside while you put the rest of the recipe together.
In a food processor, fitted with a “S” blade, combine the fresh tomatoes, pumpkin seeds, cheese crumble, olive oil, garlic, Italian seasoning, salt and black pepper. Pulse together.
Drain and discard the soak water from the sun-dried tomatoes. If you want your pesto to be thinner in texture, use some of the soak water to achieve the consistency that you want. Add the tomatoes to the food processor and process until slightly chunky.
Add fresh basil and pulse together.
Store in fridge in a sealed container for 3-5 days. A little water will release from the fresh tomatoes when it sits for a period of time, just stir back together when ready to use.
One of the greatest joys when creating raw food recipes is experimenting with different ingredients… a practice that I highly encourage. Daily I get questions regarding substitutions. Of course we all might have different dietary needs and tastes which could necessitate altering a recipe. I love to share with you what I create for myself, my husband, friends and family. I spend a lot of time selecting the right ingredients with a particular goal in mind, looking to build a certain flavor and texture.
So as you experiment with substitutions, remember they are what they sound like, they are substitutes for the preferred item. Generally they are not going to behave, taste, or have the same texture as the suggested ingredient. Some may work, and others may not and I can’t promise what the results will be unless I’ve tried them myself. So have fun, don’t be afraid, and remember, substituting is how I discovered many of my unique dishes.