How To Make Pesto Sauce Recipe With Walnuts Simple

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Pesto sauce is a delicious and versatile condiment that can be enjoyed in countless ways. Traditionally made with fresh basil, pine nuts, garlic, and olive oil, it adds a burst of flavor to pasta dishes, sandwiches, pizzas, and more. But what if you don’t have pine nuts on hand, or simply prefer a nuttier taste? Walnuts are a fantastic substitute, offering a richer, earthier depth to your pesto.

This guide will take you through everything you need to know to make a perfect batch of walnut pesto at home. We’ll cover the ingredients, step-by-step instructions, nutritional information, and some creative ways to use your homemade pesto.

Basil Walnut Pesto
Basil Walnut Pesto

Why Make Pesto at Home?

While store-bought pesto is convenient, there’s nothing quite like the freshness and flavor of homemade. Here are just a few reasons to ditch the jar and make your own:

Control the ingredients: You can choose high-quality ingredients and adjust the recipe to your taste preferences. This is especially beneficial if you have dietary restrictions or allergies.

  • Fresher flavor: Homemade pesto boasts a vibrant green color and a distinct aroma that pre-made options simply can’t compete with.
  • Cost-effective: While pine nuts can be expensive, walnuts are a more affordable option. Additionally, you can often find fresh herbs and garlic for relatively cheap.
  • Versatility: Once you’ve mastered the basic recipe, you can experiment with different ingredients to create unique pesto variations.

  • Ingredients

    Making pesto is incredibly simple, requiring just a handful of ingredients:

    2 cups fresh basil leaves: Packed and washed.

  • 1/2 cup raw walnuts: Toasted for extra flavor.
  • 2 cloves garlic: Peeled and minced.
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese: Freshly grated for the best results.
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil: High-quality oil is key.
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt: Adjust to taste.
  • Freshly ground black pepper: To taste.

  • Optional Ingredients:

    Lemon juice: For a touch of acidity.

  • Nutritional yeast: Adds a cheesy flavor for vegans or those with dairy allergies.

  • Instructions

    Here’s how to create a delicious batch of walnut pesto:

    1. Toast the walnuts (optional): Place the walnuts in a dry skillet over medium heat. Toast for 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently, until fragrant and lightly golden brown. Let them cool completely before using.

    2. Combine the dry ingredients: In a food processor or blender, add the basil leaves, toasted walnuts, garlic, Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper.

    3. Pulse and drizzle: Pulse the ingredients a few times to break them down slightly. Gradually drizzle in the olive oil while pulsing until a smooth, slightly coarse sauce forms. You can adjust the consistency by adding more olive oil for a thinner pesto or pulsing for longer for a smoother texture.

    4. Taste and adjust: Give your pesto a taste and adjust the seasonings as needed. Add more salt, pepper, cheese, or olive oil depending on your preference. A squeeze of lemon juice can be added for a touch of brightness.

    5. Serve and store: Transfer your pesto to an airtight container and drizzle a thin layer of olive oil on top to prevent browning. Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

    Nutritional Information (Per Serving)

    This recipe yields approximately 1 cup of pesto. Here’s a general breakdown of the nutritional information per serving (figures may vary slightly depending on specific ingredients):

    Calories: 240

  • Fat: 18g
  • Saturated Fat: 3g
  • Carbohydrates: 5g
  • Protein: 5g
  • Sodium: 350mg

  • Note: This information is for reference only. It’s recommended to consult a nutritionist for a personalized dietary analysis.

    Using Your Homemade Pesto

    Pesto is a versatile ingredient that can be used in countless ways. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

    Pasta: Toss cooked pasta with pesto for a quick and flavorful meal. Add grilled chicken, shrimp, or vegetables for extra protein.

  • Sandwiches: Spread pesto on bread for a delicious and satisfying sandwich. Pair it with mozzarella cheese, grilled chicken, or roasted vegetables.
  • Pizza: Dollop pesto onto your pizza dough before adding cheese and other toppings. It adds a unique flavor profile to your homemade pizzas.