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Wednesday, September 8, 2010

For the Freezer: Basil Walnut Pesto

I’ve mentioned my weekly produce delivery from Kula Fields in a previous posting. Last week I received some beautiful local basil-sigh, maybe one day I’ll grow my own. I love the basil with local tomatoes, goat cheese, and a squirt of balsamic reduction-a modified caprese salad. You probably know to trim the stems and store your basil in the fridge in a glass of water, covered loosely with a plastic bag. This weekend, the basil still looked fresh and green in the fridge but I knew I wasn’t going to be using it for a while, so I made some pesto. My normal recipe uses pine nuts, but I wanted to try pesto with walnuts instead.

For the Freezer: Basil Walnut Pesto; makes about a cup of pesto

Approximately 107 calories, 0.75 grams carbs, 11.5 grams fat, 2 grams protein per TBSP (including cheese)

2 cups, packed, fresh basil leaves
2 garlic cloves
¾ cup walnut pieces
1 tsp salt
½ cup EVOO
½ cup grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese

Toast walnut pieces on stove top 3-5 minutes over medium high heat, shaking pan frequently (until just toasted-watch carefully, will burn quickly)

Tear basil leaves into large pieces

Put garlic, toasted walnut pieces, and EVOO into food processor and blend until mixed; add in basil and pulse in short bursts just until everything is blended-don’t puree. If using immediately, stir in cheese.
Smells wonderful when making! Fresh, almost licoricey, basil smell, toasted nuts and garlic, mmmmmm.
If putting in freezer, hold back 1 TBSP of EVOO and don’t add cheese. Put pesto in storage container and drizzle remaining EVOO over top to coat and protect fresh green color. Pesto can be stored in freezer several months. When ready to use, defrost in fridge and stir in cheese.
Ready for the lid and then in the freezer.


  1. Friends,
    Kalyn of Kalyn's Kitchen just posted this terrific sounding recipe-perfect use for your homemade pesto:



  2. Hi Susie- I never thought about walnuts in pesto. Do the walnuts change the taste any? Looks very tasty.

  3. Arlene,
    I think walnuts add a richer taste than pinenuts. I haven't checked the nutrition for pinenuts but walnuts are sooooo good for you!