Open Arms of Minnesota

Weekly Recipe #79: Basil-Walnut Pesto

Pesto is a terrific way to use up summer’s abundance of basil — before those big, bushy plants start to bolt. Easy, tasty and versatile, it can be stored in the refrigerator and used for just about anything. Toss pesto with pasta or warm potatoes (steamed or roasted), use it as a dip with crackers, swirl it into salad dressings, spread it on sandwiches or pizzas, or marinate your favorite meat in it before and after grilling.

Pesto recipes often call for pine nuts, but this recipe uses walnuts as a less-expensive but just-as-tasty alternative.

Basil-Walnut Pesto

(Makes 4-6 servings, depending on use)

2 cups packed fresh basil leaves, rinsed and dried
2 large garlic cloves
1/2 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano
1/4 cup tasty olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Pulse together basil, garlic and walnuts in a food processor until mixture is a cohesive paste.
2. Add cheese and pulse until just blended.
3. With the food processor on, add olive oil in a stream until the mixture is the right texture for your application.
4. Add salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!

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