A vegan friend of mine was telling me that she went to a wedding, and there was not a single thing prepared that she could eat. When she asked the chef if he could make her a basic salad for dinner, he returned with a giant bowl piled sky high with romaine lettuce and nothing else. Just a bowl of lettuce–not even any oil or vinegar! I find that during the holidays and the summer months, it’s hard to attend friend or family gatherings that aren’t based around food. Barbecues, cookouts, and potlucks are a carnivore’s haven–and even most pasta and potato salads contain meat or dairy, leaving few options for vegans.
This recipe for Vegan Pistachio Pesto Potato Salad features pesto as a dressing rather than being smothered in mayonnaise. Pesto is typically made with pine nuts, but I have substituted cashews and walnuts with no problem, and in this recipe, I used pistachios. The pistachios contain a high amount of vitamin E, and the basil is packed with vitamin A, resulting in a dish that promotes healthy skin. Nutritional yeast is added to this pesto to take the place of Romano cheese that is traditionally used. This side is filling and suitable for vegans and non-vegans alike.
Pistachio Pesto Potato Salad
- 1 1/2 cups chopped potatoes
- 1 shallot, sliced
- about 1/2 cup basil leaves
- 1/4 cup pistachios
- 1 garlic clove
- 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
- 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 teaspsoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon nutritonal yeast flakes
1. Wash and chop 2 or 3 potatoes until you get about 1 1/2 cups.
2. Put the chopped potatoes in a pot and cover them in water. Bring the water to a boil and simmer the potatoes until they are soft enough to pierce with a fork.
3. Remove the potatoes from heat and strain them. Put them back in the pot and cover the potatoes with cold water to stop them from cooking any further and to chill the potatoes. Strain again and put potatoes in a large bowl.
4. Add the basil, pistachios, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper, and nutritional yeast to a blender and blend well.
5. Remove the pesto from the blender and add it to the bowl with the potatoes.
6. Add the sliced shallot to the bowl and stir together.
7. Top with pistachios and fresh basil sprigs and serve.
This potato salad is best served chilled, and you should store the leftovers in the fridge.
Also by Lauren: Bell Pepper Burrito Bowl
Related: 3 Mushroom Pesto Linguine
Get more like this—Subscribe to our daily inspirational newsletter for exclusive content!
Photos: Lauren Sacerdote