Not Your Basic Pesto . . . Parsley Walnut Pesto!



Pesto is a sauce originating in northern Italy. Traditionally, pesto is made of crushed garlic, basil, pine nuts, olive oil and parmesan cheese.  The name pesto comes from the Italian word pestare which means to pound, to crush.  The meaning is in reference to the original method of preparation by a marble mortar and pestle.  The ingredients are all ground with a circular motion.  So there you have it . . . a quick history lesson on pesto.
But today is not about tradition and history.  Today is about creating something new.  It is not better, it is not to replace . . . just to try something different.  I love a traditional, basic pesto probably as much as any other but isn’t it fun to switch it up . . . ingredients, flavors, tastes and smells?  Don’t some say, “variety is the spice of life?”  Well, today is about spicing in up!
Pesto lends its own unique flavor depending on its ingredients to enhance your recipes.  Whether you are tossing it with some grilled or roasted veggies, serving it as a dip or spread, swirling it into a warm or cold soup, dolloping it throughout a pasta dish, or using it as a base for a marinade or aioli, it is a yummy addition to most all meals.
Today, I am making a Parsley Walnut Pesto.  Let’s take a quick look at the main two ingredients of this pesto . . . and I mean quick.  Parsley is a good source of flavonoids, antioxidants, folic acid, vitamin K, vitamin C and vitamin A.  And I am using Italian flat leaf parsley . . . because pesto demands Italian herbs, right?  The other star ingredient . . . Walnuts are a nutrient dense food containing a high amount of protein including many essential amino acids, fat and dietary fiber. This is a good tasting and good for you pesto and if you are indeed a vegan then you too can dig right into a bowl of this.
So let’s start making some pesto.  Sure you can get out the mortar and pestle.  Or dare to break tradition and whiz it right up in a food processor.  I am going to be a rebel and whiz away . . .
Parsley Walnut Pesto
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1 cup toasted walnuts
1 1/2 cups packed flat leaf parsley leaves
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp lemon juice
Sea salt
With food processor running, drop in garlic cloves and mince.
Turn off, scrape down the sides and add walnuts, parsley, olive oil and lemon juice.
Process all ingredients until combined.
Season to taste with sea salt.
Refrigerator or freeze until ready to use . . . but definitely enjoy this Parsley Walnut Pesto in whatever meal it enhances!
OMG . . . today my lunch was deeellliiissshhh!  I slathered some Parsley Walnut Pesto onto a wrap, heaped on leftover Citrus, Maple Roasted Beets & Apples with Maple Walnuts, sprinkled some raw purple onion on and added a handful of rocket . . . YUMMY!  It is my new favorite Fall Harvest Wrap with an explosive taste!
And tonight . . . I am thinking my sweet potato fries are going to be dipped into some Parsley Walnut Pesto  . . . I can’t wait!
To re-inventing a classic pesto . . . one dollop of Parsley Walnut Pesto at a time!  Hugs, M.

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