Thursday, December 23, 2010

Creamy Pesto Spread

Okay, so I make mistakes when I'm cooking...a lot of the time!  I just felt that I should get that out there for all of you who may be getting this impression of me in the kitchen, that everything is a success...FALSE!  This spread was developed as a desperate attempt to cover up a mistake that I made, when I didn't read one of my own recipes closely enough, and added 4 times too much salt!  Here's my point, though, instead of scrapping the whole thing, I got creative, and because of it, this little beauty was born...and boy is it amazing!!  If you love creamy, decadent, rich, pesto-y, things, you're going to thank your lucky stars for this recipe (and so will everyone else that tries it!)  Never in a MILLION years would anyone guess that this was vegan, so serve it with pride, and once everyone has had their fill (and has complimented you IMMENSELY), let them in on your little secret!

First, you'll start out by making my Pesto recipe:

1/2 c. pinenuts, toasted (look below for toasting instructions if you are unfamiliar!)
1/2 c. fresh basil (I have to admit, sometimes I've been known to cheat on this step and just buy a tube of fresh basil...I just use the whole thing instead of rinsing and chopping...shhhh, don't tell!)
1/3 c. extra virgin olive oil
1 T. freshly smashed garlic (or again, cheat and use the tube!)
1 t. sea salt (this is where I made the mistake...the original recipe calls for 1/4 t.!)
1 t. lemon juice

-In a small saute pan toast 1/2 c. of pinenuts over medium heat.  Toss or stir frequently, because they'll burn quickly.  You'll know they're done when they're nicely browned, and you can smell them!
-Throw all these ingredients into a food processor, and mix until smooth and thick!


1 container + 1/2 c. Tofutti Better than Cream Cheese (yeah I know...that's a LOT of cream cheese, but trust was a LOT of salt!!)
1/2 c. Tofutti Better than Sour Cream

-Blend in the food processor until smooth!  That's it...SO easy!

-This actually makes quite a bit of the spread, so if you're worried you won't be able to find ways to use it, here are some helpful hints!

sandwich or wrap spread
on crackers topped with tomato and a balsamic reduction drizzled over it
on a toasted crostini
veggie dip
cracker dip
tossed with pasta and served cold (throw in some tomatoes, kalamata olives, artichoke hearts and roasted red peppers!)

-Need I go on??  If you come up with some creative ideas, let me know!  I'd absolutely love to hear them!!

-Disclaimer:  If you should happen to love this so much that you eat it all the time on everything, there is almost a 100% chance that you will gain some poundage!  This is NOT my fault...I repeat...NOT my fault!

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