It’s St. Patrick’s Day weekend, so I’m sharing one of my favorite green recipes with you before Matt and I pack our bags and escape to the beach for the next week 🙂
Pesto is one of Matt’s favorite foods- growing up, his mom made it for him with the basil and parsley they grew in their garden. Pam passed her recipe on to me and I’ve loved making it ever since. I had never thought of using anything other than pine nuts in pesto, but walnuts give it the perfect amount of nuttiness and are mild enough to where they don’t overpower the fresh herbs. I love walnuts in this recipe but you can use pine nuts or even almonds if you’d like.
I love making pesto because of its versatility; you can serve it on spaghetti squash, zucchini noodles, or brush it on chicken and grill it. It can turn just about any carb or protein into something vibrant, fresh, and aromatic. Last night I served it on Gluten-Free pasta alongside some sauteed shrimp. You know I love recipes that freeze well- and this is no exception! I make big batches of pesto when basil is cheap (or we’re given some from someone’s garden) and freeze it in an air-tight container for future meals. Topping the basil with some olive oil before freezing ensures no freezer burn forms.
I think some people are intimidated to make pesto at home, but all it takes is some fresh herbs, good olive oil, and a food processor! You can’t mess this up, I promise.
It took me a while to get this recipe just right because the original recipe only made a couple tablespoons worth, and you should see the way Matt loads this onto his plate. I got to a point where I was just buying as much fresh basil as we could afford and could eyeball the amounts of the other ingredients around the amount of basil I was using. However, last night I made a point to measure everything out for 4 normal-sized servings, or 2 “Matt-sized” servings. I hope you enjoy this as much as we do!
Makes 4-6 servings
1 C flat leaf parsley
3 C basil
4 T good olive oil
1/4 C walnut pieces
2 cloves garlic, peeled
Salt & pepper to taste
Rinse and dry herbs. Add all ingredients to food processor and pulse for 10 second intervals until incorporated, scraping down sides with rubber spatula in between. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Serve as desired, and store leftovers in airtight container in fridge for up to 4 days or top with olive oil and freeze for up to 3 months.