Garlic & Walnut Pesto
This is so easy that I feel silly calling this a "recipe". But here we are! I've been making this pesto for many, many years now. It came together when I was in college. Pine nuts were way too expensive on a college student budget, so I would substitute with walnuts, which were usually about half the price per pound. The taste was still perfect and ya girl still loves a good deal, so I haven't changed it since! A lot of pesto recipes call for a lot of olive oil and that's great, if you have self-control. When I make pesto, I like to keep it spreadable and put it on everything - I've cut down the amount of oil in this significantly for that reason but if you want to make it richer and thin it out, perhaps for a sauce, feel free to double the olive oil. I love this over pasta, with chicken or fish, in a sandwich, on flatbread, as a dip on a cheese board; pesto goes with everything!
I used garlic scapes in this recipe but if they are not in season or you don't have them handy, a clove or two of garlic will also do. Garlic scapes are the curly, beautiful stalks that grow on garlic bulbs and if they are not cut off, they will eventually grow into flowers. They are milder than garlic and you can use them in the place of garlic. I've used them in stir fries, frittatas, and salads. I've only ever seen them at farmers' markets in the summer and fall, so they're harder to come by, but if you can get your hands on them, try them at least once.
- 3 cups basil leaves, tightly packed
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan
- 50-60 grams walnuts
- 4-6 garlic scapes or 2 garlic cloves
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 2 anchovy fillets (optional - if using, reduce the salt)
- salt and pepper to taste
Blend everything in a food processor. Put this all over everything. Live your best life <3.