Here in Seattle, we wait all year for the local heirloom tomatoes, fresh basil, and abundance of fresh fruit to enter the markets. And when it finally does, it's time to really take advantage! This savory, light summer fare is the perfect way to end a workday. It's fast, easy, satisfying, and can be dressed up or down depending on the day. The vegetables included are completely flexible, any of your favorites will work, so be creative with what you have on hand. This dish comes together in no time (though there are a few steps), just get all the ingredients out and follow the steps below, it should take 20-30 minutes to come together. The sunflower seed pesto is spectacular on it's own, and if you don't have time for anything else, at least make this and spread it on some toast. The light nuttiness of the sunflower seeds mixed with the punch of the fresh garlic, and the bright taste of basil is wonderful and really captures the essence of summer. As always, completely vegan, gluten and soy free. Enjoy!
Sunflower Seed Pesto Pasta
Serves 2-4 (depending on hunger)
1 box gluten-free pasta (I used Ancient Harvest quinoa spaghetti)
1 cup basil
1/2 c sunflower seeds
1/4 cup olive oil
3-4 cloves garlic
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 cup chopped broccoli
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1 cup sliced crimini mushrooms (optional)
1 cup sliced/diced cherry or heirloom tomatoes
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp olive oil
1. Mix tomatoes with oil, vinegar, sugar and salt in small bowl. Set aside.
2. Bring water to a boil for pasta. Cook pasta as directed. Drain when al dente.
3. Sauté veggies on medium heat for 5 minutes in a bit of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
4. in food processor combine sunflower seeds, garlic, basil, salt, sugar, pepper, yeast, oil and lemon juice. Process until creamy, scraping down sides as needed.
5. Combine pesto with warm noodles, serve topped with sauteed veggies, tomato marinade, and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar if desired.