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Hey, there!

Welcome to Road 142 where I, Cara Crowley, a stylist and content creator chat and share about fresh + easy ideas for everyday life while exploring the backroads and farms of my beloved Northern California. I’m so happy you’re here!

Walnut Pesto

Walnut Pesto

 

Pesto, to me - no matter what time of year, always says and feels like summer to me. Long nights, eating outside next to the BBQ, friends and neighbors stopping by for fresh and easy dinner with ingredients from farm stands. Sometimes in the dead of winter and early spring it can feel like summer is never coming again so from time to time, I like to buy fresh hothouse basil - in the summer, I just clip from my garden or get at the Farmer’s Market - and make a batch of pesto. I don’t really love traditionally made pesto, I know this is a very controversial stance but it’s honestly how I feel. I always feel like the pine nuts overpower all the other ingredients so I started omitting them a couple years back but found that my pesto was missing a velvety, nutty texture. So in my effort to find an alternative that worked, I substituted walnuts and it really hit the spot, gave the sauce the velvety nutty taste that I was missing. Hooray!

This is my go to recipe for Walnut Pesto. It’s super simple to whirl together in just a few minutes. I use it in so many ways - marinade for chicken, vegetables, toss with pastas, perfect addition to grilled mozzarella and summer tomato sandwiches, brush on grilled corn, mix into salad dressings, top scrambled eggs or spread on toasted bread. See the options keep on going!

Start by collecting all of your ingredients in one place - fresh basil leaves, Mariani walnuts, garlic, salt and good olive oil. You can use a pre grated parmesan cheese or a block of fresh parmesan. In the next photo, I’ll show you a super easy way to grate a whole block of cheese in just a few seconds.

Start by collecting all of your ingredients in one place - fresh basil leaves, Mariani walnuts, garlic, salt and good olive oil. You can use a pre grated parmesan cheese or a block of fresh parmesan. In the next photo, I’ll show you a super easy way to grate a whole block of cheese in just a few seconds.

I cut up my block of whole parmesan and throw into my Vitamix (or food processor, depending what project I’m working on). I blend for about 45 - 60 seconds until my cheese resembles course crumbles, perfect for cooking with.

I cut up my block of whole parmesan and throw into my Vitamix (or food processor, depending what project I’m working on). I blend for about 45 - 60 seconds until my cheese resembles course crumbles, perfect for cooking with.

Set the cheese aside to use as needed for this recipe and any left over cheese can be stored in a container in your refrigerator or freezer for future projects.

Set the cheese aside to use as needed for this recipe and any left over cheese can be stored in a container in your refrigerator or freezer for future projects.

Once you are done with all your prep. Start by placing the fresh basil leaves in the processor of your choice.

Once you are done with all your prep. Start by placing the fresh basil leaves in the processor of your choice.

Next add in the garlic, parmesan, Mariani walnuts, salt and pepper to the blender.

Next add in the garlic, parmesan, Mariani walnuts, salt and pepper to the blender.

Process all ingredients until mixture resembles a paste, about 1 minute, scraping down the sides of your blender if needed. With the processor running, slowly pour the 2/3 olive oil through the feed tube and process until the pesto is thoroughly blended.

Process all ingredients until mixture resembles a paste, about 1 minute, scraping down the sides of your blender if needed. With the processor running, slowly pour the 2/3 olive oil through the feed tube and process until the pesto is thoroughly blended.

…and less than 5 minutes later you have a fresh jar of pesto! Tonight, I’m using it marinade chicken and vegetables for the grill but remember from above your options to use pesto are endless.  Keep in mind that you want to use pesto immediately or store in a tightly sealed jar, covered with a thin layer of olive oil (this seals out the air and prevents the pesto from oxidizing, which will turn the pesto brown).  Pesto will keep in the refrigerator for about a week and can be frozen for up to six months.    This was a paid partnership with the  Mariani Nut Company   #road142partner

…and less than 5 minutes later you have a fresh jar of pesto! Tonight, I’m using it marinade chicken and vegetables for the grill but remember from above your options to use pesto are endless.

Keep in mind that you want to use pesto immediately or store in a tightly sealed jar, covered with a thin layer of olive oil (this seals out the air and prevents the pesto from oxidizing, which will turn the pesto brown).

Pesto will keep in the refrigerator for about a week and can be frozen for up to six months.

This was a paid partnership with the Mariani Nut Company

#road142partner

Walnut Pesto

prep time: 5 minscook time: 5 minstotal time: 10 mins

ingredients:

  • 2 cups gently packed fresh basil leaves
  • 2 large garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 1/3 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

instructions:

  1. Place the basil leaves, garlic, parmesan, walnuts, salt and pepper in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade or a high capacity blender, like a Vitamix, and process until mixture resembles a paste, about 1 minute, scraping down the sides of your blender if needed. With the processor running, slowly pour the olive oil through the feed tube and process until the pesto is thoroughly blended. Use pesto immediately or store in a tightly sealed jar, covered with a thin layer of olive oil (this seals out the air and prevents the pesto from oxidizing, which will turn the pesto brown).
  2. Pesto will keep in the refrigerator for about a week and can be frozen for up to six months.
Created using The Recipes Generator
 
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