Artichokes have been a favorite vegetable of mine for years. They actually bring up very fond food related memories for me! This artichoke pesto is vegan, low fat, and very filling. Combined with traditional pesto ingredients this artichoke pesto is super thick which is perfect for coating pasta with!
Spring time brings a whole new crop of produce. At my house we are not only spring cleaning our home but also our eating and exercise habits as well. What about you?
Using seasonal produce is a great way to save money. I love using artichokes in this pesto, it helps the basil go a lot further than it would with traditional pesto. Also, the artichokes have a very earthy, but bright flavor. Perfect for that transition from heavy winter to light summer foods! Lemon juice and artichokes are pretty much a match made in cultinary heaven if you ask me.
This dish was actually inspired by my parents. When my step-dad started eating vegan 6-7 years ago, my mom would often make pizza with pesto, artichokes, roasted red pepper, and tomatoes. As you can see, I’ve combined those flavors (minus the roasted red pepper which I might add would be amazing in this pasta). My mom loves to cook and bake, but often follows recipes. I don’t know what her inspiration was behind these – but it was brilliant.
This artichoke pesto is also great for my annual shed the winter layer I somehow accumulated. Cooking with spring veggies naturally lead to less heavy sauces and flavors. Sure you might associate artichokes with the classic spinach artichoke dip but have you ever tried them sautéed with lemon and salt and pepper. If not you really should, it will change your perspective on this versatile veggie!
I used quinoa pasta in this dish. I thought it would be a great way to add protein and it really held up great to the pesto. I don’t eat a ton of pasta so this was really a great treat. I think this would be fantastic on zoodles or spaghetti squash as well!
Artichokes are full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Trying to fight off that late winter cold? Artichokes are full of Vitamin C! You will also magnesium, potassium, folate and Vitamin K!
Antioxidants called polyphenols are in artichokes. These antioxidants are disease fighting compounds.
The leaves of the artichoke are said to help with irritable bowel issues, as well as help lower cholesterol (LDL the bad kind). The extract of the artichoke leaf is actually used as medicine (source).
This pesto would be impossible without my handy food processor (affiliate link). It is seriously such a necessary kitchen gadget. Check out my list of must have kitchen gadgets if you are just getting started in the kitchen. If you’re a pesto lover make sure to check out my Kale Almond Pesto and Spinach Basil Pesto!
Hemp seeds are playing a major role in this dish. Don’t skip them if you have them on hand. Trader joes now sells them or you can get them in your favorite health food store or online.
Frozen artichokes are the bomb diggity. You don’t have to know how to steam or cook the artichoke. However, steamed artichokes are on my must make list for the year. I’m a bit intimated though, which is not how I throw down for Sunday Supper. Sundays are my relax and eat something wholesome that doesn’t take forever to make day.
Artichoke Pesto Pasta
- 1/2 bag frozen artichokes Trader Joes
- 1 package basil leaves
- 3 tbs. hemp hearts
- 1 tbs. olive oil
- Juice of 2 lemons
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 clove garlic grated
- Black pepper to taste
- 1 box of quinoa pasta or pasta of choice
- Prepare the remaining frozen artichokes with lemon juice salt and pepper. Reserve for topping.
- 10-12 cherry tomatoes
- Salt and pepper to taste.
- Heat a large skillet over medium low heat. Add artichoke hearts and the joice of one lemon. Add stalk and pepper. Slowly allow the artichokes to defrost.
- Once the artichokes have been heated through, take them off the heat.
- Add basil to food processor with juice of lemon, grated garlic) olive oil and hemp hearts. Blend until combined and pesto starts to form.
- Add artichoke hearts.and blend until a a thick pesto sauce has been formed (about 4-5 minutes).
- Boil water, make pasta according to package directions.
- Chop optional additional artichokes, cooked with lemon, salt and pepper and cherry tomatoes.
What about you?
- Are your Sunday meals usually extravagant or are they something casual and quick to make?
- What is your favorite artichoke dish?
- Do you have a favorite spring veggie?
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