Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Basil & Walnut Pesto

I always feel better when I have a jar of pesto in the fridge, and even better when it's home-made. Life is super busy at the moment; home and work are battling for my time. So lots of quick soups and pasta dishes have been on the menu in the Smith household, all of which are enhanced with a spoon or two of pesto. As I squeeze writing this post between marking books and reading a bedtime story to Evie, I am yearning for the weekend and the time to spend more than 10 minutes in the kitchen. But if 10 minutes is all I have, keeping a stash of various pesto in the fridge is a quick way of making something everyday a bit more exciting. Here, I have tweaked the traditional recipe replacing the pine nuts with toasted walnuts to give a nuttier, more autumnal flavour. It makes a particularly good dressing for steamed broccoli with pasta or a simple grated carrot salad.

Makes one jar of pesto

30 g. walnuts  
50g. basil leaves
40g. Parmesan cheese
1 clove of garlic
A pinch of sea salt
A drop of lemon juice
A glug of olive oil

Heat a frying pan, and add the walnuts. Allow them to toast, they are done when they have filled the kitchen with a nutty aroma and they are tinged brown at the edges.

Place them in a blender with all of the other ingredients and a splash of olive oil. Blitz until everything is finely chopped but still has a grainy texture. Stir through a little more olive oil until you are happy with the consistency.

Transfer to a sterilised jar and cover the pesto with a little more olive oil. Place the lid on the jar. The pesto will wait on standby in the fridge for a couple of weeks. 

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