Walnut Parsley Pesto

I usually think of pesto as a summer food, given the way the basil takes over in the garden. Pesto making is just something you do with all that bounty. But you can easily make fresh pesto in the fall or winter using parsley and walnuts instead of basil or pine nuts. It’s just as green, garlicky, cheesy, and nutty. And great on pasta, with beef, or as a sandwich spread. I’ll even put it in cheese tacos. Or just keep dipping my fingers in until it’s all gone. Oops!

Walnut Parsley Pesto Recipe

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: Makes about 1 1/4 cups.
Yum

Ingredients

  • 1 cup shelled walnuts, about 3 1/2 ounces
  • 2 cups chopped parsley, about 1 bunch
  • 1/2 cup grated pecorino or parmesan cheese
  • 3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup olive oil

Method

Put the walnuts, parsley, cheese, garlic, and salt in a food processor and pulse for a few seconds to combine. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then pulse again. Drizzle in the olive oil while the machine is running just long enough to incorporate the oil, about 20-30 seconds.

Use immediately or cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate to store. Will last several days chilled.

Use with pasta or as a spread on bread or toast.

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Links:

Sage Walnut Pesto, from Not Without Salt
Kale Walnut Pesto Pasta, from Shutterbean
Gnocchi with Arugula Walnut Pesto, from Eat Live Run
Wild Black Walnut Parsley Pesto, from Hunter Angler Gardener Cook

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Showing 4 of 24 Comments

  • elston

    I noticed that my pot of parsley out on the lanai….is really overgrown and with recent rains is sort of hanging down….still very green and fresh…just too heavy for its stems to hold up the wet leaves.

    I have walnuts and am sick of baking cookies….so this looks to be a perfect solution. I have family coming for Xmas week….I can picture the dark green parsely pesto….on toast rounds with a sliced sweet one hundred tomato in the center…..very Christmas-y.

    I also have extra almonds…..I wonder how they would work in a pesto.

    Thank you for a great idea….Merry Christmas!

  • jjmcgaffey

    Almonds are hard to use – because they’re harder nuts. I’d whizz them first to small chunks before mixing in other stuff (when I used them, I got pesto with almond pieces instead of nutty pesto).
    I use frozen spinach as the basis for my pesto, summer or winter. I like the flavor. Let it thaw slightly then add some fresh greens and the rest of the ingredients (plus some nutmeg to take the edge off the dark green) and whizz.
    Pesto freezes nicely, too. Put it in canning jars (I use half-pints), cap and freeze; it will keep for a couple months, at least (that’s about how long 5-6 half-pints last, in my house). When you want to use it, take it out of the freezer and put it in the fridge at least 8 hours (and 24 is better) before you want to use it (though you can give it 15 seconds or so in the microwave to soften the edges and scrape some off. But the rest of the jar won’t keep as well if you do that – still works, but eat it quickly if you can).
    I use it as a bread spread (yummy with brie, grilled cheese…just about anything), on pasta, on rice (just like pasta), instead of mayo in tuna salad…yum.

  • meg

    I love walnuts in pesto. In fact, owing to the exorbitant price of pine nuts, I use walnuts almost exclusively for pesto. The parsley is a great idea–a good winter pesto. Arugula is also a fabulous green to use in pesto.

  • Mary

    any thoughts on flat vs curly parsley? i have both in the fridge right now. use both? not sure! they do taste different!

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