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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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Vegetarian Pan Bagnat with Cilantro Pesto

Summers in Park City you can find live music most every night of the week almost all of them outdoors!  Locals pack their picnics, from elaborate assemblies to something they picked up at the Market. Me, I love to make this very special sandwich, this pan bagnat (pan ban-YAH) with cilantro pesto!

Pan bagnat refers to a sturdy, packable sandwich popular in Southern France. To make a pan bagnat sandwich, use a long baguette with the center hollowed out. Have fun putting together this vegetarian version!

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Walnut Paella Salad {vegan, gluten-free}

Back when I was in language school in Cuernavaca Mexico, my host family‘s next door neighbor invited us to his catered 50th birthday fiesta. I spoke enough Spanish to graciously accept shots of their 100% agave, but not enough to carry on a conversation. As I enjoyed their hospitality, out of the corner of my eye I watched the caterer stir saffron seasoned broth into round starchy rice. She layered in various meats and shellfish as the rice plumped. It’s true, rabbit tastes like chicken. Unlike this walnut paella salad, a saffrony summery twist on classic, the paella that night was decidedly not vegetarian. Continue Reading…

Spaghetti with Beet Greens and Basil Pesto

Do you feel as if you’re overwhelmed with greens? To use up greens in one meal, make spaghetti with beet greens, or pasta with any other greens you have on hand. You will love how what seems like a huge pile of greens shrinks incredibly into this easy quick dinner of spaghetti with beet greens!

Spaghetti with Beet Greens and Basil Pesto | Letty's Kitchen

You can use other greens for this pasta, not just beet greens. The greens wilt down to manageable, edible amounts–a pound of greens cooks into just about 2 cups of tangy cooked sweetness. Trim the center rib and stem off the greens. Save both chard and beet greens, save the ribs or stems. Dice them into small pieces and sauté along with the onions. If the greens are from red beets, the cooked stems tint the pasta a pretty rose pink. Continue Reading…

Spinach and Goat Cheese Risotto in the Pressure Cooker {Instant Pot}

Creamy Italian rice, with tangy goat cheese, bitter-sweet spinach, and crunchy pecans– a wonderful vegetarian meal! Make this spinach and goat cheese risotto in the pressure cooker and dinner will be on the table in 20 minutes!Spinach and Goat Cheese Risotto in the Pressure Cooker

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