Thursday, September 9, 2010

Walnut Pesto

There were giant bunches of basil staring me down at the farm stand. They said:
"My only desire in my short basil-y life is to be pesto."
And so I acquiesced.
Basil can be very persuasive. 

Walnut Pesto
Makes about 6oz

A couple roasted garlic cloves, more or less to taste
1 ounce fresh basil leaves
1 ounce walnuts
3 tablespoons grated romano or parmesan cheese
1/4 cup good quality extra virgin olive oil
juice from half of a lemon
a few pinches of salt

First roast the garlic. (click here to learn how)
Next, combine garlic, basil and walnuts in a food processor and process for 30 seconds or until chopped fairly evenly. While the food processor is still running drizzle in olive oil, then the cheese and lemon juice. Add salt to taste but remember the cheese is salty already.

Toss pesto with warm pasta, or spread on crusty baguette (my favorite way to eat it). Also makes a great spread for sandwiches, a base for bruschetta, or pizza; and it's delicious mixed with ricotta, in calzones and stuffed shells.


  1. WHAT a smart idea. We end up tossing so much basil around here. It's silly. Thank you for sharing!!!

  2. Oh I know how you feel. I've heard pesto freezes well too but I've never tried it. Apparently if you put it in ice cube trays with more olive oil (and maybe leave out the parmesan?) you end up with little pesto cubes that you can take out 1 or a few at a time to use just what you need and save the rest. Like I said, I've never tried it but I hear it works.

  3. I've frozen pesto. Yes, it works beautifully. I did it in baggies, smooshing about a cups worth into a baggie, then laying it flat, mushing all the air out of it and flattening it to a teensy thickness that will freeze quickly and then thaw out in about 5 minutes when placed in cold water. It also breaks easily to utilize in smaller quantities.

    Last year I made pesto with spinach. And fell in love. The year before it was beet green pesto. Apparently, each summer I require a new reason to swoon over a foodstuff, and fall ridiculously in love with something unusual. I'm such a food dork.

    Looking forward to seeing where you land, and the view around it from your camera.

  4. Thanks Kate!

    (ps - i'm a food dork too haha)


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