Basil Walnut Pesto is an interesting variation of a very popular sauce recipe called Pesto that is prominently used in the Italian cuisine. Traditionally Pine Nuts are used to make pesto but I have given it a slight variation by adding walnuts which are easily available. Here is how to make Basil and Walnut Pesto.
As I love basil, I have prepared this Basil Pesto with Walnuts, but you can go ahead and experiments with flavours by adding spinach, arugula or kale along with basil to make your own Spinach Basil Walnut Pesto, Arugula Basil Walnut Pesto and Kale Basil Walnut Pesto respectively..
Pesto is an Italian sauce made using fresh basil leaves, parmesan cheese, pine nuts and layer of olive oil. This sauce can be used in many ways like making pasta, topping for chicken or fish, sandwich spread and marinade for grilling. Since pine nuts are a little difficult to source in India, I substituted them with walnuts and came up with this delicious Pesto recipe.
I am sure you will love this simple yet very delicious Basil Walnut Pesto Recipe. Here is how to make it.
This Basil Walnut Pesto is
- Easy to make
- Quick to make
- Can be made vegan by skipping adding parmesan cheese
Tips to make best Basil Pesto with Walnuts
Use freshest of basil and good cheese and olive oil to make the pesto. Since it requires only a handful of ingredients, it’s very important to use the best.
Do not make pesto in a blender or a mixie. It will become paste like. The correct texture of pesto is slightly coarse. You can use your food processor to make it. In fact in olden days, people used to make it in a mortar and pestle or chop it using their knife until all the ingredients came together and then lastly added olive oil to the finely minced ingredients.
If Parmesan Cheese is not available, you can just skip it but do not add any other cheese.
You can experiment with various greens to make the pesto. Although Basil is traditionally used, arugula, kale, carrot greens etc are great choices too.
You can also play around with the nuts of your choice. Try adding almonds, pistachios, pinenuts instead of walnuts. Traditionally inenut were used to make pesto, but after experimenting with various nuts, I have realised that they give their own delicious flavour to the pesto.
What is Pine Mouth Syndrome?
If you make your pesto using pine nuts, you should be aware of this syndrome.
“A phenomenon known as Pine Mouth is an intense metallic taste that affects a small number of pine nut eaters. According to the FDA, symptoms develop 12 to 48 hours after pine nuts are eaten and can last anywhere from two days to three weeks. Every time you eat or drink, the good old sucking-on-a-penny taste worsens, overtaking the flavor of any food you’re eating. Basically, Pine Mouth is hell for anyone who enjoys eating food” – Source
Tools required to make Walnut Basil Pesto
You will need a good food processor to make pesto. Never try to make it in a blender.
How to use Basil Walnut Pesto
Already tried and loved this recipe? Now wondering how to use it? Well, give a read to my Pesto loaded recipes such as:
Pesto Prawns Mushroom Pasta, One Pot Pesto Chicken, Roasted Bell Pepper Basil Pesto Pasta and in case you really love the recipes made from avocado then you must, must and must try Creamy Avocado Pesto because it would turn out wonderful as well!
You can also use it as salad dressing and a sandwich spread. I like to slather it on a toasted bread and top with an egg for a yummy breakfast.
Top your hummus with some pesto for a change in flavour.
What can I use instead of basil in Pesto?
The base ingredient for pesto is basil which is a very mild herb. By replacing basil with any other herb will not make it a pesto but any other dip. You can replace half of the basil with baby spinach though, to keep the flavour of pesto intact.
What nuts are best for pesto?
Traditionally pine nuts are added in basil, but you can easily replace them with others like peanuts, almonds, cashew, macadamia, hazelnut, pistachios etc. Even seeds like sunflower seeds or melon seeds will work great as the replacement.
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How to make Basil Walnut Pesto Step by Step
Add basil leaves in the food processor.
Add the remaining ingredients.
Blend until everything comes together.
Walnut Basil Pesto Video Recipe
Basil Walnut Pesto Recipe
Basil Walnut Pesto
Basil Walnut Pesto is an interesting variation of a very popular sauce recipe called Pesto that is prominently used in the Italian cuisine.
- 2 cups Basil Leaves
- 1/4 cup Walnuts
- 3-4 Cloves Garlic
- Salt to taste
- 1/2 tsp Freshly Cracked Black Pepper
- 1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese Grated
- 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil Plus more if needed
- 1 tsp Lemon Juice
Add all the ingredients in the jar of a food processor and pulse to blend everything.
Keep in mind to not make a paste of the ingredients.
In between blending, keep scraping the sides of the blender using a spatula.
Add some more olive oil if required while blending.
It is best to use pesto freshly made but you can store it in an airtight container for up to 2 days.
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