BYE, BYE BASIL!!!
— “i’m a whore.”
I’m tired of people telling me they LOVE basil. We get it. Basil is great. It’s great on Caprese salad with mozzarella and tomatoes (so 80’s). It’s great on fresh salads. Even when people find specks of it on their pasta and don’t really know what it is but claim to love basil…it’s great. But contrary to popular belief, you don’t NEED basil for Pesto. Arugula, Parsley, Spinach, virtually any leafy green can be a great if not preferable substitute.
Walnut Parsley pesto is a personal favorite of mine because it incorporates one of my favorite herbs: parsley. Parsley is lemony, peppery, and very fragrant. And at about 80 cents per bundle…it’s ALOT cheaper than pretentious and overpriced Basil. Use it to flavor Meditterenean and Middle Eastern dishes. Walnut Parsley Pesto can be used in pasta dishes, as a dipping sauce for crostini, or even as a marinade for meats (recipe coming soon).
You can even combine it with mayonnaise to liven up an otherwise mundane sandwich.
2 cups of fresh, flat leaf parsley (rough chop)
3-4 cloves garlic (chopped)
3/4- 1 cup toasted walnuts (rough chop)
About 1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese
Salt and Pepper to taste
Toast walnuts in a skillet over a stove on medium heat until browned. Combine parsley, walnuts, and garlic in a food processor and buzz until finely minced. Add olive oil until smooth consistency is achieved. Transfer into bowl and add parmesan cheese. Season with Salt and Pepper. Once again, salt is important. The parmesan should have some salt to it, but make sure your dish is seasoned well. Pesto has a bite to it; that’s why we love it.
Tip: for extra depth of flavor, add a tablespoon of lemon zest.