Summertime Spread: Basil-Walnut Pesto!

TAGS: summer, presto, Hannah Johnson-Hill, basil, recipe

And… Presto, It’s PESTO!!

I love fresh summertime Pesto. I wish I’d known sooner how easy and inexpensive it is to make! This spring I bought three tiny, sweet basil plants, with hopes of having a few leaves to throw in my Delicious Thai Steak Salad, Fantastic Chicken Si Ew, and my favorite steak dinner classic Crying Tiger Sauce. Basil has a miraculous array of antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Add in the good fats, fiber and minerals of walnuts, and we’ve really got a nutritional powerhouse! Little did I know I would soon have a basil forest growing on my deck.

With all this basil, I just had to make a big batch of pesto! Pesto is awesome for bread dipping, pasta salads, spaghetti sauces, salad dressings, and so much more. Most pesto recipes call for pine nuts. Don’t even get me started on the price of pine nuts ($29.99/lb); you’d think they were harvested from a money tree, for cryin’ out loud.

Walnuts are incredibly healthy, with very similar texture to pine nuts. Plus, I think a meal you saved money on tastes better, but that’s just my two cents. Let’s begin!

You Will Need:

3 cups Packed Basil Leaves

2 Cloves Minced Garlic

1/2 cup Olive Oil (I use 100% Pure Olive oil, NOT EVOO, because of the lighter and fruitier taste.)

1 cup Walnuts

1 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese

1 teaspoon Garlic Salt

Let’s Process Our Pesto, Shall We?

Pack your basil leaves in your food processor. Don’t be afraid to cram ‘em; we’re gonna make space here in just a minute.

Drizzle in your olive oil.

Add your garlic right on top. Now, I use minced jarred garlic, but you can absolutely buy fresh and crush it yourself. You can really snob this recipe up as much as you want; I’m sticking to the basics and mine turned out awesome. Feel free to make your own modifications.

Pulse a few times til you get the basil roughly chopped, then add your walnuts and Parmesan.

Process until smooth, and gaze in wonder at the gorgeous green paste that’s going to turn everyday dishes into superstars.

If you’re making this to use for a single dinner, you can easily halve the recipe. I like to make a bunch and then freeze it in snack bags. That way, I take out what I need, and it’s thawed in just a few minutes.

Just before serving, stir in a few tablespoons of hot water from your boiling pasta or add some hot melted butter.


Thanks for reading! As always, your feedback is appreciated and encouraged. Send it to me HERE!

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