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!