Finding Food: Liv Carder’s Vegan Pesto
In the second instalment of our ‘Finding Food’ recipe share we have Liv Carder from Larder. She is the manager of one of Brighton’s best and favourite vegan deli’s and is a wonderful cook in her own time. Larder recently came No. 13 in the Best Coffee Category and No.10 in Plant Champions at the recent BRAVO food awards. Liv dedicates a lot of her time to cooking so we interviewed her to find out where her love of food came from.
Who taught you how to cook? For as long as I can remember, I’ve always watched my mum in the kitchen. She cooked most meals from scratch so I learned a lot from her. It wasn’t until I was sixteen and I got a job in our local deli, ‘Real Meals’ in my little hometown of Saltburn, that I really discovered my passion for food. I watched the chefs preparing meals from fresh ingredients every day, and I became obsessed with cooking. That job inspired me to get into catering and I learnt near enough everything I know from the wonderful family that own the business.
Where is your favourite place to eat in Brighton? It’s so hard to pick a favourite in such a vegan-friendly city like Brighton. I spend my days off wandering around cafes searching for the best vegan food and trying new things. I’d say happy maki is a favourite of mine. Who could have thought vegan sushi could be so amazing?! The basil and beet sushi wrap is to die for, and the staff are so fab and friendly so I eat there quite often. The coffee counter also does a bangin’ vegan cheese toastie!
First meal I remember making? My mum used to make this amazing spaghetti bolognese, so my earliest memories of cooking always involves that meal. I don’t make it much these days – because I can never get it as good as hers! The secret is a lot of red wine! When I first moved out, I lived on stir fry for about six months, but being vegan in Middlesbrough is a lot more tricky than Brighton!
What inspires me to cook? I’ve got to admit, cooking for other people is my favourite thing to do. That’s what pushes me to create great food and I love sharing my skills with people. When I’m on my own, i’m much more likely to be lounging about on my fourth round of peanut butter toast. I’m also a bit spice crazy, everyone at work laughs at my love for turmeric. No lie, it ends up in everything without me even realising!
The most disgusting thing I’ve ever tried? Since turning vegan, there’s not much that I turn my nose up to. But some vegan cheese is absolutely disgusting, so it’s only once in a while I use it when I find a nice one. At larder, we’ve stayed away from fake cheese and meats, unless we make it ourselves from scratch. We’ve finally perfected Seitan, and we’re all obsessed with trying new things and we’re going to experiment on making our own cheese so keep an eye out!
Tangy vegan pesto!
Today’s recipe is easy to make, has simple ingredients but will wow the mouths of anyone eating it. Pesto is an age-old classic but this vegan twist with roasted garlic and lime makes for an extra-special addition to any meal!
1 cup olive oil 1 bunch of basil – chopped
A couple of cloves of roasted garlic
A handful of cashew nuts
Half a cup of nutritional yeast
A sprinkle of chilli flakes
Juice of one lime
Salt n pepper to taste
Blitz it all up in a blender and use how you want! I like to use it on puff pastry sheets, with some olives, sun dried tomatoes and grated carrot and make into mini savoury pastries!