I wanted to make Walnut Pesto after trying it at Squeaks cafe last year with raw ‘courgette’ pasta. It was a revelation. It can be made with or without the cheese as the vegan alternative and this recipe uses fresh herby salad leaves with the basil.
Here is my easy recipe for Walnut Pesto:
200g halved or roughly chopped organic walnuts (choose fairtrade if they are available)
2 large garlic cloves
1 generous handful of each – fresh basil leaves and mixed babyleaf peppery salad (particularly watercress and rocket)
50g Parmigiano Reggiano (not essential, eliminate for vegan option)
4 tablespoons organic fairtrade Zaytoun olive Oil
1 tablespoon organic hemp oil
1 teaspoon organic toasted sesame oil
Fine Himalayan crystal or sea salt to taste
Combine all the ingredients apart from the oil, in a food processor, whiz until crumbly.
Slowly drizzle in the oil, olive oil last, while the machine is on pulse, until it reaches the desired texture. There should be enough oil to keep the paste moist and spreadable.
Refrigerate for 1 hour before use to allow the flavours to combine.
Keep refrigerated or freeze any surplus in small batches for later use.
I imagine cashew and possibly hazelnuts would be an interesting alternative to try next, I will let you know how it goes! Better still, get back to me with your variation and I will post it on the website.