Walnut basil pesto recipe: how to make basil pesto with walnuts. Pesto is a popular Italian sauce that’s hard to miss, what with Italian cuisine being such a popular one globally. I developed a very gradual liking to pesto. In fact, the first couple of times I tried it, I found the flavour of the basil leaves too strong. Then I got to taste pesto in a couple of great restaurants and that converted me. Fast forward to today, I can eat it with practically anything.
I have shared the classic pesto recipe before. It uses fresh basil leaves, crushed garlic, parmesan cheese, and pine nuts. I have stayed with that recipe for the most part expect to replace pine nuts with walnuts in this walnut. TH dislikes pine nuts so much that he is convinced he’s allergic to them. I am not sure if that’s the case but I avoid using it in my pesto just to be on the safe side. Also, basil walnut pesto is equally delicious and I really don’t miss the flavour of pine nuts.
Another proud balcony garden moment for me! As I shared in my methi paneer recipe post, I have a tiny space where I grow some stuff and the basil plant you see in the picture is easily the prettiest. The seeds are from Sydney and they grew so beautifully into a mini pot I used. I had to trim them continuously to keep the growth in check so many delicious bowls of pesto sauce emerged out of this small cluster of basil plants. If you think store-bought basil leaves have a strong flavour and smell, wait until you are able to pick the leaves from your own plant, it’s really out of this world.
To follow along on my balcony garden adventures and other food-related jaunts around Singapore, follow me on Instagram!
Use good quality olive oil and cheese along with the other ingredients and you will be rewarded with a delicious bowl of this goodness. Pesto can be used as a dip with crackers and crudités, or thinned out and used as a pasta sauce to make pesto pasta. You can even spread pesto on pizza as a base sauce instead of using tomato sauce. I bake these eggless pesto rolls when I feel like baking some bread from scratch. They are gorgeously soft and pillowy, especially when eaten warm out of the oven.
- 5 cups of fresh basil leaves, packed
- ½ cup of olive oil
- ½ cup of grated parmesan cheese
- 1 tsp of crushed garlic
- 1 tsp of freshly cracked black pepper (adjust to taste)
- ½ cup of walnuts
- Salt to taste
- Wash the basil leaves and set aside
- In a food processor or mixer, coarsely grind the walnuts. You can lightly toast them on a dry skillet before toasting. This enhances the flavour but is an optional step.
- To the same grinder or processor bowl, add the rest of the ingredients except cheese and pepper. Start with ¼ cup oil and add more as needed to make the mixture grind together well.
- Grind to a smooth paste. You can leave it a bit coarse if that's the texture you prefer.
- Now add the grated cheese and cracked pepper.
- Give the mixer or processor just a couple of spins until the ingredients are well blended.
- You can test salt at this stage and add more or less as needed.
Step by Step Pictures to Make Basil Walnut Pesto
To the same grinder or processor bowl, add the rest of the ingredients except cheese and pepper
Start with 1/4 cup oil and add more as needed to make the mixture grind together well.
Grind to a smooth paste or to a coarser texture if that’s what you prefer
Now add the grated cheese and cracked black pepper
Give the mixer or processor just a couple of spins until the ingredients are well blended
Fresh basil walnut pesto is ready. Taste and see if it needs more pepper or salt and add as needed.