Walnut pesto

This week marked a sad occasion in our house…

I stripped my poor basil plant.

I have to admit, it was a little depressing to pull all the fragrant leaves off. But, our first hard freeze was upon us and I knew that trying to protect the plant for much longer would have just been delaying the inevitable.

Plus, I had a whole box of pasta just begging for some pesto.

Walnut Pesto

Lightly adapted from Simply Recipes.

Ingredients:

  • 2 C fresh basil, packed
  • 1/2 C freshly shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 C walnuts
  • 2 t minced garlic
  • ~1/3 C olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

  • In a food processor, combine the basil, Parmesan, walnuts and garlic. Pulse until just combined.
  • Slowly pour olive oil in while pulsing the food processor. Use enough olive oil to reach desired pesto consistency.
  • Taste and add in salt and pepper as needed.

A very delicious end to this year’s basil plant, in deed!

Although it is more traditional to use pine nuts in pesto, I truly prefer using walnuts. To me, pine nuts always taste slightly fishy even if they are still fresh. As an added bonus, walnuts are much cheaper to buy than pine nuts.

Win-win.

This recipe got me enough for a big dinner of pasta plus a little extra, which I used to make caprese sandwiches later in the week. For those, I layered fresh mozzarella, freshly sliced tomatoes and some pesto between two slices of bread. Then, I pressed the sandwiches on a grill to make paninis. Dare I say that round two of pesto was even better than round one?

Now onto a big weekend… My sister is in town for her official tour of the University of Kansas!

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