This recipe came to me one day as I was contemplating an extreme desire for pesto. Alas, I didn't have any parmesan cheese, and I wanted to see what I could do with a new thing I've been using: Nutritional yeast. It's widely available these days, and it is truly a healthy and wonderful alternative to a lot of great cheeses- especialy the salty ones! So this may not be exactly like the pesto you've had that is non-vegan, but this is healthy, and it serves as a great reminder to always keep your culinary imagination open!
1 tbsp (or more) of Nutritional yeast
1-2 cups of fresh basil, packed a bit
1/4 cup olive oil, or whatever you need to make the consistency right!
3 tbsp nuts of your choice (pecan, walnut, pine nut..)
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
Put it all in a food processor and pulse until the consistency is just right! Add more olive oil as necessary. Or, if you're old fashioned, use the Italian knife known as a mezzaluna (half moon) to cut the basil, nuts, yeast, and other ingredients until the consistency is right. Add it to olive oil. I've done both methods, and while the texture is great from the mezzaluna method, the amount of time it takes is just generally not worth the effort! :)