walnut pesto.

A really elegant homemade sauce is like a bold statement accessory on a simple jeans-and-white-t-shirt outfit.

It can elevate the most ho-hum of meals into something people are gabbing about on the car ride home.

So if you are looking for a way to make your regular grill-out fare ridiculously super-extra tasty and memorable, then this homemade walnut pesto is proooobably the way to go.

I served mine as an accompaniment to grilled pork and chicken and as a spread on turkey sandwiches, and I’m pretty sure I finished it off with a spoon until it was all gone.

I am a big believer in using the highest-quality ingredients for sauces such as this.

So make sure you use the freshest herbs, freshly grated Parmesan cheese, and good-quality olive oil.

Happy grilling season!

peaches and cake

Walnut Pesto
Adapted from The Kitchn
Idea to add parsley from Domenica Catelli
Makes 1 ½ cups
Time: 20 minutes

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⅔ cup walnuts
6 cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves
¼ cup loosely packed Italian flat-leaf parsley
3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
About ½ teaspoon sea salt or Kosher salt
Ground black pepper
½ cup + 2 tablespoons good-quality extra-virgin olive oil
½ cup good-quality grated Parmesan cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spread nuts evenly on a rimmed baking sheet; toast in oven until golden and fragrant, tossing once, about 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool.

2. In a food processor, combine nuts and garlic. Process until nuts are finely chopped, about 15-20 seconds. Add the basil leaves, parsley, salt, season generously with ground pepper; process until mixture resembles a paste, about 1 minute. With machine running, slowly pour the olive oil in a steady stream through the feed tube; process until smooth. Add the grated Parmesan cheese and process until combined. Season to taste.

3. Use immediately or store in an air-tight plastic container, covered with a thin layer of olive oil and a piece of plastic wrap pressed up against the surface (which prevents the pesto from turning brown) in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Serve as an accompaniment with grilled pork or chicken, as a condiment for turkey sandwiches, or mixed in with spaghetti.

Note: If freezing the pesto for later use, omit the Parmesan cheese, freeze, thaw, and stir in the Parmesan right before serving.


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