“Cheesy” Spinach Pesto Rolls

Cheesy Spinach Pesto Rolls photo by Callie Showalter

By Callie Showalter, VRG Intern

Makes 10 rolls 

Ingredients:

For the dough:

2¼ teaspoons instant yeast 

1 Tablespoon organic cane sugar

1½ cups lukewarm water 

3½ cups flour 

2 teaspoons salt

For the creamy
“cheese” sauce:

¾ cup raw cashews, soaked overnight

3 Tablespoons nutritional yeast

1/2 lemon, juiced

1 teaspoon dried garlic powder or 2 garlic cloves,
minced 

1 teaspoon salt

¼ cup water or unflavored plant milk 

For the
spinach-pesto mixture:

2 cups fresh basil, chopped

1 cup baby spinach, chopped

1/3 cup pine nuts 

2 large garlic cloves, minced

¼ cup olive oil

¼ cup nutritional yeast (may sub shredded vegan
parmesan)  

1 teaspoon salt

½ lemon, juiced 

To assemble:

Start by whisking the yeast and sugar into the warm
water, and let sit until you see bubbling (this tells you the yeast is
activated). Whisk together the flour and salt in a large bowl, and then pour in
the water mixture. Use clean hands to mix the ingredients and form a ball. Add
flour as needed so that it is not sticky. 

     Oil a bowl and
place the dough in to proof, and then cover the bowl with a towel. Place in a
warm area until the dough has doubled in size, about an hour. 

     While your
dough proofs, add your cheese sauce ingredients into a blender or food
processor. Blend until smooth, and set aside. In the same blender/food
processor, add all your pesto ingredients and pulse until well combined. Set
pesto aside. 

     Preheat oven
to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. On a clean, floured surface, roll the dough into a
rectangle about ½-inch thick. It will be about 20 inches long and 14 inches
wide. Spread the ‘cheese’ sauce, followed by the pesto, evenly across the
dough, leaving a ¼-inch perimeter of dough without sauce. Roll the
dough—starting from the long side— into a log, and cut into about ten 2-inch
pieces. 

     Arrange rolls
in an oiled 8- x 8-inch glass baking dish, and bake in the oven for 30-33
minutes. 

Optional: After they are cooked, brush rolls with vegan butter and top with more vegan Parmesan or nutritional yeast.