Seaweed Pesto

Seaweed pesto. You've probably don't see those 2 words next to each other in many sentences. I'm not even sure that I can legally call this pesto, but as long as you're not with the pesto police, I'll continue.

Dried seaweed just placed in water

Dried seaweed just placed in water

I've always been a big fan of seaweed. I love the salty taste it lends wrapped around a sushi roll, or the sweet crunch it provides in a seaweed salad. Then of course there are the health benefits. It's a green superfood, filled with antioxidants, magnesium, iron, folate, multiple vitamins as well as calcium. It also is a great source of the little talked about, but often missing from our diet, iodine, which helps regulate the thyroid. It's also supposed to help attack fatty tissue, and win, so yes, it can help with weight loss.

Seaweed after 30 minutes of soaking

Seaweed after 30 minutes of soaking

I used wakame for my recipe, which is a sea vegetable, part of the algae family, but unlike some things in the sea, this item is your friend. It's mostly found in dried form in Asian grocery stores, as well as more common places like Whole Foods, so some soaking is required. When you open the small packet of dark, dried bits, you think, uh, this is not going to end well, but after a few short minutes hydrating in water, voila, a beautiful transformation has occurred.

seaweed pesto

I was happy eating it straight up, and you can do that, and add to soups or salads, but let's push past the basics. It makes a nice sauce or spread for crackers, fish, chicken and more.

Blending the seaweed with some pesto pals like pine nuts, garlic and pecorino made for a unique and zesty sauce to throw on some zucchini noodles (recipe here). Add as little or as much olive oil for a smooth or chunky sauce. I liked the more rugged chunks, but doctor as you wish and enjoy all of the health benefits.

seaweed pesto

Seaweed Pesto

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup dried seaweed like wakame
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 1 clove peeled garlic
  • 1/4 cup pecorino (if vegan, omit)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

Instructions

  1. Place dried seaweed in enough water to cover the top. Wait 15-20 minutes until it's been fully re-hydrated.
  2. Place hydrated seaweed in a food processor and mix with the pine nuts, garlic and cheese. Once combined, add the lemon juice and olive oil. Blend until the desired consistency is reached.

Want more seaweed recipes?

seaweed pesto