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Homemade Easy Basil Walnut Pesto

Stashing containers summer’s pesto is the most squirrel-like getting-ready-for-winter thing I do. When fresh basil is garden plentiful, I pull out the food processor and whip up a batch. This pesto freezes beautifully, so that’s where I keep it. All winter long, when I want pesto for pasta or pizza, there’s a ready stash of easy basil walnut pesto!

Easy Basil Walnut Pesto | Letty's Kitchen

Using a food processor, this pesto is quick to make–the work is in stripping the basil leaves off the stems. The garlic is super-easy to mince–begin your pesto by dropping whole garlic cloves in the work bowl while the processor is running and the blade is spinning. When the garlic stops hitting the sides of the processor bowl, it’s perfecty minced!

Compared to many other pesto recipes, this easy basil walnut pesto has less olive oil–more basil bang for the buck. Not that extra virgin olive oil is a bad thing!

You will love the flavor and budget-wise variation with walnuts and Pecorino Romano cheese in place of the more expensive pine nuts and Parmesan cheese called for in classic Italian Genovese pesto.

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Basil walnut pesto is a quick and easy pasta sauce for sure. You’ll also love the extra flavor a dollop of pesto add to lots of other dishes. Basil pesto serves as an easy way to add fresh herbs and garlic to soups or anything that benefits from such a bump, like sauteed leafy greens.

Basil pesto is delicious spread on pizza dough–the beginnings of fabulous homemade pizza, like this homemade pesto potato pizza. Any time of year, a dollop of garlicky basil walnut pesto brings summer punch to so many recipes.

ingredients for Easy Basil Walnut Pesto

Purists be appalled, but any flavor or texture nuance lost by not using the traditional mortar and pestle is more than made up for with time saved by making it with the food processor.

You say stripping all the leaves still seems like a lot of work, and why not buy the pesto at Costco. To me, that’s like saying dried parsley is an adequate substitute for the fresh leaf. There is nothing like homemade easy basil walnut pesto, fresh, or frozen stash.

 Easy Basil Walnut Pesto ready for processing in Cuisinart food processor

Whenever I make up a full batch of the emerald opulence, we gorge ourselves on pasta with pesto. There is no match for freshly made basil walnut pesto. What doesn’t go on the pasta that day, goes in jars, and into the freezer, for another day.

You might also like this Garlic Scape and Mess o’ Greens Pesto. Or these Caprese Veggie Patties with Basil Arugula Pesto.

Make it a fabulous week–get in the kitchen and enjoy yourself!

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