In our house, we like to say that pesto is gold made green. Because food is our currency, and we’ll eat pesto on anything. It’s great in traditional formats—on noodles, as a dip for bread, on an antipasto platter. But we can get frisky. We mix it into mayo, slather it on pressed sandwiches, bake it into biscuits.
Micah has been perfecting this pesto for months, and I’m not happy if I don’t have a jar of it waiting for me when I’m struck by a middle-of-the-week pesto whim. His version differs from a traditional pesto because it replaces pine nuts with walnuts (though that’s a fairly common substitution) and uses the juice of one lemon to brighten the sauce.
So haul out your trusty food processor and give this recipe a spin (or, more accurately, a pulse). You’ll love having a condiment on hand that can instantly elevate a boring Tuesday-lunch-turkey-sandwich into an event. Because every meal should be as special as—I was going to say you, you special snowflake, but instead I’ll just say—presto: pesto.
- 4 cups fresh basil leaves, loosely packed
- 4 cloves garlic
- ½ cup walnuts
- 1 cup freshly grated parmesan
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil + additional
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- juice of 1 lemon
- Combine basil, garlic, and walnuts in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a blade attachment. Pulse until coarsely chopped.
- Add cheese and lemon juice and pulse until combined. With processor running, slowly drizzle ½ cup olive oil into mixture. Pulse until desired texture.
- Add salt & pepper to desired taste.
- Serve immediately or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator topped with enough olive oil to cover the exposed pesto.