I wish I could say my basil is growing like a weed this summer, instead it’s doing the opposite. It’s short, skinny and just looks so depressing. I mean what can I say, I do have the black thumb of death. I guess it’s just one of my curses that I will have to endure for the rest of my life. However, if and when it sprouts a few leaves, I take what I can get and make pesto. A pesto that I never thought would work because it’s made out of walnuts.
YES! A cheaper and delicious alternative.
Pesto is traditionally made with pine nuts, but those can be hard to find and they are not cheap.
Why are pine nuts so expensive you ask?
Well lets see, it’s a little known secret that pine nuts are harvested by a rare species of squirrel that can smell exactly when the seeds are ripe, but before the pine cone opens its scales.
No, just kidding. Not really. But pine trees take several years before they begin to bear, and each individual cone takes about 2 years to develop. Each cone must be individually bagged shortly before the scales open, and then the seeds have to be collected and separated from their shells.
That’s why they are $30 a pound at Costco? Yeah, I know, how annoying right?
So I guess we will have to make do with walnuts. But have no fear, basil and walnut pesto tastes just as good if not better!
If you have never tried your hand at making your own, you must! It’s shockingly easy and tastes a lot better than those store-bought and premade pestos at the grocery store. Plus it’s cheaper to make your own pesto! 🙂
Basil and Walnut Pesto
2 ½ cups fresh basil leaves, washed an dried
1/3 cup walnuts, toasted
2-3 cloves garlic
½ cup parmesan cheese
1/3 – 1/2 cup olive oil
½ teaspoon sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
Black pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients together in a food processor or blender and blend on high until a smooth texture is reached or as to your desired consistency.
If you want a thicker consistency add less olive oil. If you want a creamier consistency add more olive oil.
Add more salt and pepper to taste.
Add to pasta, use as pizza sauce, or simply just use it as a spread for toast. YUM!