Warm Cauliflower Hemp Seed Pesto


I love a good pesto.

The fresh basil which takes me back to my adventures in Italy.

The pungent garlic and zesty lemon.

The fat that adds creaminess and richness, giving pesto its indulgent feeling, at least for me.

Last night I wanted to bring these complexities of the pesto experience together in a different way. I wanted a lower fat and lighter option that would also provide plenty of satiation.

After scrounging through my nearly empty fridge, I came up with a lone cauliflower, and knew I wanted to incorporate it somehow. The result was this untraditional spin on pesto. A warm, creamy, low fat, basil-flecked, super healthy cauliflower-based pesto, made with omega 3 rich hemp seeds for creaminess.

I loved it and I hope you will too.

Warm Cauliflower Hemp Seed Pesto


  • 4 cups cauliflower florets
  • 1/2 cup hemp seeds
  • 1 1/4 cups tightly packed basil (or more as desired)
  • 1 tsp dried dill
  • Juice of 1 medium-large lemon (or more as desired)
  • Zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • Cayenne pepper to taste
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil if you like a richer or fattier flavor. I prefer this recipe without it.


  1. Steam the cauliflower until tender but not breaking apart.
  2. In a food processor, pulse the garlic and hemp seeds to break them down.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients except the basil. Process until well combined.
  4. Add the basil and pulse a few times until until the basil is broken down but still visible as flecks in the pesto.
  5. Taste, adjust spice and seasoning, and serve.

You can enjoy this over zucchini noodles, quinoa or brown rice pasta, kelp noodles, as a dip for veggies, crackers or organic corn chips, in cabbage or lettuce leaves rolled up with extra raw veggies, on top of a salad, or even on it’s own.

What do you think of this spin on pesto? What’s your favorite way to enjoy the key ingredients of pesto? Share in the comments below and like and share this recipe if you dig it!

By Casey on July 10, 2014 : (Read more from Casey)

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