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Food
Babette's 'Legendairyless' Pesto

This winning dairy-free pesto, a seemingly unlikely combination of roasted cashews, basil and nutritional yeast (in lieu of cheese), is adapted from a recipe by Daniel Van Der Beek, chef at Babette's in East Hampton, N.Y. And, no, it does not taste "yeasty." It is delicious on grilled vegetables or pasta.

1/2 pound raw cashew pieces
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast (see note)
1 bunch fresh basil leaves, washed well and carefully towel-dried
1 tablespoon chopped raw garlic (4 to 5 cloves)
1 1/4 teaspoons sea salt or kosher salt
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/4 teaspoons lemon juice, strained of pulp

Place cashews on a baking sheet and roast about 4 to 6 minutes at 350 degrees, or until light golden brown.

Place cashews in a food processor and chop for about 15 seconds. Add yeast and pulse another 30 seconds. Remove ground cashews and place in a mixing bowl.

Add basil leaves by handfuls to the food processor and pulse, about 5 seconds for each handful.

Add garlic and salt, then drizzle in the olive oil, stirring with a rubber spatula. Add lemon juice, pulsing until just blended.

Season to taste, pulsing to mix. Add basil mixture to ground cashews, whisking well. Makes 2 cups.

Note: Nutritional yeast (dried yellow flakes) is available at most health food stores.

Thursday, August 09, 2001

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