Walnut Basil Pesto
Walnut Basil Pesto
Makes about 2 cups
Prep Time: less than 5 minutes
Cook time: --
Total time : less than 5 minutes
1/3 cup walnuts
2-3 small garlic cloves, roughly chopped or pressed with a garlic press
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Zest of ½ lemon
2 cups basil
1/4 cup or more extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
1. In a food processor, pulse the nuts, lemon juice, zest and garlic until they’re finely chopped. Add the basil and pulse again.
2. Next, drizzle in the olive oil with the food processor blade still running.
Finally, add grated Parmesan cheese and process briefly until combined. For vegan pesto, simply skip the cheese ( and substitute with nutritional yeast)
· Traditional pesto is a blend of fresh basil, garlic, pine nuts, extra-virgin olive oil, and Parmesan cheese. Once you’ve made it with the more classic recipe, try changing it up! You can make delicious variations like this with all sorts of nuts, seeds, veggies, and leafy greens. Here are some of my favorites…
o Swap out the pine nuts for any nut of your choice! Walnuts, almonds and pistachios are great. You can even make it nut free by using pumpkin seeds or hemp seeds.
o Change up the basil! I like replacing it with part basil and part another green such as arugula, spinach, or chopped up kale leaves,
o Switch up the flavor! Add a pinch of red pepper flakes, a roasted red pepper, 2 or 3 sun dried tomatoes, or artichoke hearts into the mix
o If looking to go dairy free you can use nutritional yeast, in place of the parmesan
o Just what you have in your pantry or fridge and have fun experimenting!
Ways to use:
· Of course it’s good for over pasta, but it can be used in so many other ways too! I like to dollop it on grilled or roasted vegetables, eggs, toasted bread, pizza, sandwiches, soups… you get the idea. It bumps up the flavor and makes anything an instant tasty meal whether you feel like cooking or not. And it freezes well! Try freezing it in portion sizes you will use or even in ice cube trays. This way in the winter when basil isn’t in season you can just pop one into whatever recipe you decide to use. I highly recommend putting some in some homemade chicken soup. It’s one of my favorite things! I even add a teaspoon or two to salad dressings to bump them up a notch. So yummy!