Monday, July 18, 2011

Homemade Walnut Pesto

What's a girl to do when she's got about 10 colanders worth of this stuff....

It's official pesto making time...time to pick all my basil and replant before it starts to flower. This past week I made two huge batches of homemade pesto. One container is in the fridge and the others get thrown in the freezer so we can enjoy it all winter long.

I make my pesto a little different...instead of pine nuts or pignoli nuts, I use walnuts.

Some garlic, some decent quality olive oil, and cheese round out the ingredients. Pop them in the food processor and you have this...

I usually double the recipe, although every time I do I struggle a bit with getting all the ingredients into my 8 cup food processor.

Pesto with Walnuts and Garlic

3 cups loosely packed basil leaves
4 peeled garlic cloves
1 1/2 cups walnuts
3/4 cup of Olive Oil
1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese

Place basil, garlic, cheese and walnuts in a food processor and pulse until well combined. Stream in olive oil. Be sure to scrape sides well (especially the bottom near your blade).

Just a couple notes...the original recipe I found for this called for double the oil. I found it to be way too much. I cut it down to 3/4 of a cup. Since I primarily freeze my pesto, when I thaw it and put it in a dish, I do add a little bit more olive oil. For example, I made a Pesto Scallop dish with pasta. Once the pasta was cooked and the pesto added, I poured in an additional 1/4 cup of olive oil to mix with the pasta.

Also...I always just buy a hunk of Parmesan cheese at my local grocery store. This time I decided to splurge a little and bought some Parmesan from Whole Foods. I can't describe the difference in quality. Sure, it was a couple bucks more, but so much better than the run of the mill stuff at my big grocery store.

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