I've been experimenting making different bean and tofu spreads as alternatives to their higher fat pesto friends. They're cheaper to make since they use less olive oil, and I don't feel guilty about going to town on a bowl of one. Here's a recipe that utilizes cilantro, but you could substitute any herb or spice mix that tickles your fancy.
1 Block Firm Tofu
A few cloves of garlic (to taste)
A few Tablespoons of Nutritional Yeast
A few Tablespoons of pumpkin and sunflower seeds - toasted in a dry skillet
1 Big bunch of washed cilantro or herb of choice
First, cube the tofu and steam if for a few minutes to soften it up. If you want to take the edge off of the garlic, steam it along with the tofu. Otherwise, it's okay to add it raw or even substitute garlic powder.
Place tofu in a food processor along with the garlic and toasted seeds. Alternatively, use another nut or seed of your choice. I think pistachios would be particularly nice with the cilantro.
Pulse until well combined.
Next add the cilantro and pulse until it's well integrated.
Season with nutritional yeast, salt, and any other herbs you may want to throw in.
Taste and adjust for seasoning. You may want to add a little olive oil and/or lemon juice to smooth out the texture and round out the flavor.
|Cilantro Pesto on a bagel with smoked salmon|