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Dressing and sauce recipes

Vegan sundried tomato pesto

Prep time 15 minutes
serves 4 people

Photography by Tracey Creed
Recipe by Amandine Paniagua and Tracey Creed
Words by Tracey Creed

Published August 16 2022


1 cup raw walnuts
2 garlic cloves
14 cup vegan parmesan, grated
2 tsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1 tsp sherry vinegar
14 cup sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped
14 cup olive oil


Transfer the walnuts, garlic, vegan parmesan, rosemary and sherry vinegar to your blender or food processor. Pulse until coarsely chopped. Alternatively, you could chop your walnuts and press the garlic, combine as below.

Transfer the walnut mixture to a bowl and stir through the sundried tomatoes and olive oil. Season with salt to taste.

Pesto will store well for two to three days in the refrigerator under a thin film of olive oil, but it is really at its peak when served soon after it is made.

For a simplified weeknight meal, one cannot go pasta

Simple, modern and super-flavourful, leaning heavily on garlic and perhaps, controversial—sundried tomatoes. Slightly sweet and slightly acidic, we love this pesto served with our favourite pasta and cashew nut Parmesan, finished with basil and sea salt flakes. Set against our increasingly hectic lives, this pesto is a celebration of simple ingredients prepared with love and care. Buy the best ingredients you can and let the ingredients speak for themselves.

I prepare most of the meals in our house; we rarely eat out or order in. But we keep it simple: Usually, it’s a big green salad with lots of leafy greens, pulses and vegetables with either tempeh or pasta and sparkling water. We also keep a lot of odds and ends on hand, such as fermented veggies, olives, hummus and blocks of tofu, so I can quickly assemble meals and get a nice mix of colours and flavours on every plate.

Even if I’m tired, I have a reserved battery somewhere for cooking. There’s something extra special, extra satisfying about focusing your energy on cooking dishes that are as nourishing as they are delicious. That in itself is an ultimate act of self-care. Or an act of love when preparing food for those you hold near. Gathering friends around a table fills my cup.

Making dinner is a nice way to relax into the evening, and even though my partner and I work from home, we work in separate spaces, so dinner is like lunch, time to catch up. Surround yourself with objects that make the work of preparing and eating as joyful as possible. I feel the environment and state of self in which we consume our food should also be considered—be relaxed, chew lots and well and express gratitude.

I also must express gratitude to those who inspire me to cook. I don’t consider myself to be too creative in formulating recipes. I tend to find ones I like and tweak them in the ways I feel I need to—if required, dietary or seasonal constraints, and it usually becomes a staple. I still haven’t gotten around to making the hundreds of them I’ve pinned, but since moving house, things in life seem more manageable–sleep, happiness, fatigue and stress.

Right now, I love preparing a simple salad of mesclun, mandolin a red onion tossed with sunflower seeds, olives and apple cider vinegar. You coat with olive oil and black pepper to ensure all leaves are covered. Let sit while you prepare your pasta, and this makes for a quick dinner and even more yummy leftovers for lunch the next day! If you make this, I’d love to see it.

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