To a food processor or small blender, add the basil, nuts, garlic, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, and sea salt and blend/mix on high until a loose paste forms.
Add olive oil a little at a time (streaming in while the machine is on if possible) and scrape down sides as needed. Then add 1 Tbsp (15 ml) water at a time until the desired consistency is reached - a thick but pourable sauce. (If avoiding oil altogether, sub the oil with vegetable broth or just use all water.)
Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more nutritional yeast for cheesy flavor, salt for overall flavor, nuts for nuttiness, garlic for bite / zing, or lemon juice for acidity.
Perfect for adding to sauces, dressings, breads, and more! My favorite recently has been adding it straight to zucchini or carrot noodles (see photo) for a beautiful, healthy side dish.
Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator up to 1 week. After that, pour into ice cube molds, freeze, and store up to 1 month or more.
*I rely on a mix of extra virgin olive oil and water to make this pesto a "sauce." If you're trying to avoid oil, feel free to sub the EVOO for vegetable broth or water! *Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with lesser amount of nutritional yeast. *Recipe adapted from my Smashed Potatoes with Garlic Pesto. *Recipe as originally written makes ~1 cup pesto.