Despite it being the end of March, it’s still pretty darn cold here in the Northeast. Lately I’ve been longing for some fresh basil, but my efforts to grow it indoors this winter have entirely failed. Well, Whole Foods came to my rescue this week.
They had some basil that looked like it came right off the plant this morning. Fresh and fragrant, just the way I like it! Perfect for making some delicious lemon basil walnut pesto.
This twist on a traditional basil pesto has two simple modifications – the addition of lemon juice and zest, as well as walnuts in place of pine nuts.
I don’t know about you, but when I see the hefty price tag of pine nuts in the grocery store, I can somehow convince myself to buy the jarred stuff (yuck!) rather than making it myself. Using walnuts as a substitute makes it more appealing to a cheapskate like me. It has the same taste and texture, without the financial regret.
It really is as simple to make as a recipe can get. Add everything into the blender or food processor, and pulse until combined. This recipe can easily be multiplied to be frozen (in case you find yourself splurging on more basil than you can use at Whole Foods, not mentioning any names…).
Some people recommend omitting the Parmesan if you want to freeze, but I have not had a problem with the cheese getting grainy at all.
This pesto goes excellent with almost anything. Pasta? Duh. Pizza? Of course. Pesto and Kale Scrambled Eggs? Mmm.
Let me know in the comments below what your favorite way to use pesto is. I’m sure there are some unusual recipes out there that would be fun to experiment with!
Lemon Basil Walnut Pesto
- 2 cups fresh basil
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 lemon juice and zest
- 1/2 cup olive oil I used extra virgin
- 1/4 cup walnuts
- 1/2 cup fresh Parmesan cheese
- Salt and pepper to taste I love this Himalayan pink salt
- Pulse all ingredients in blender or food processor, adding extra virgin olive oil gradually until the desired consistency is achieved. I added about 1/2 a cup of olive oil.