Humble Gardener Recipe: Basil and Walnut Pesto

Here at the Humble Gardener, we love to feature simple recipes that you can make with ingredients fresh from your garden.

You’ve got fresh basil growing in the yard, right? There are plenty of great uses for those fragrant leaves, but perhaps our favorite involves making pesto. Basil and Walnut Pesto, to be exact. This recipe calls for a few simple ingredients, ground together in a food processor so that you’re left with a smooth concoction of garden-inspired goodness. The strong notes of your fresh basil meld together with full flavored walnuts and pine nuts to produce a zesty, powerful pesto you’ll make again and again. Best of all, you’ll be reminded of those fragrant basil leaves well into the winter months– pesto can be stored in the freezer for several months and whipped out on a night when you’re craving some of those fresh garden flavors!


Basil and Walnut Pesto

1/4 cup walnuts
1/4 cup pignolis (pine nuts)
3 tablespoons chopped garlic (9 cloves)
5 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups good olive oil
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan

Place the walnuts, pignolis, and garlic in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Process for 30 seconds. Add the basil leaves, salt, and pepper. With the processor running, slowly pour the olive oil into the bowl through the feed tube and process until the pesto is thoroughly pureed. Add the Parmesan and puree for a minute. Serve, or store the pesto in the refrigerator or freezer with a thin film of olive oil on top.

Makes 4 cups.

Recipe adapted from The Food Network.

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