I adore pesto. It’s packed with flavor, incredibly versatile and the ingredient combinations are seemingly endless. I love to switch it up with different nuts or seeds, spinach or kale, basil or parsley. I could go on and on. And when stirred into pasta, smeared onto sandwiches or dolloped onto cozy soups? It always adds that little bit of something special.
And as for this nut-free, vegan sun-dried tomato pesto? Probably my favorite version to date. While it’s certainly not the prettiest pesto on the block, what it lacks for in looks, it most certainly makes up for in taste. Packed with sun-dried tomatoes, sunflower seeds and a touch of balsamic vinegar, it’s the perfect complement to just about any dish. Or heck, even smeared on a piece of toast.
Because of the sun-dried tomatoes, I find that I don’t need as much salt as I typically use in pesto. Start with just a pinch and add more at the end as needed. You could also absolutely add in some nutritional yeast to give the pesto a bit of that cheesy flavor (without the actual dairy), but the sun-dried tomatoes give this so much oomph, that I find I don’t really even want it here.
When processing all the ingredients in the food processor, feel free to leave the pesto as chunky or as smooth as desired. Depending on what you are planning to use it for, you may want to adjust the consistency.
The pesto keeps well for several days in an airtight container in the fridge, for use in anything you’d like!
Homemade sun-dried tomato pesto filled with sunflower seeds, basil, spinach and a touch of balsamic vinegar. Vegan and nut-free.
- 3/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes
- 1 cup lightly packed baby spinach leaves
- 1/2 cup lightly packed basil leaves
- 1/4 cup unsalted sunflower seeds
- 1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- About 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar (or regular)
- Add the sun-dried tomatoes, spinach, basil, sunflower seeds, garlic, salt and pepper to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until finely chopped. With the food processor running, slowly pour in the olive oil and vinegar. Process until mostly smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. To thin out the pesto, add in additional olive oil a little at a time.
If you are using sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, you can use that oil in place of some/all of the olive oil. If your sun-dried tomatoes do not come packed in oil, soak them in hot water until tender before using in the recipe.