Walnut Pesto

April 28, 2014

Author Notes: Because of the walnuts, this pesto has a deeper, earthier flavor than I normally associate with pestos. It is a fall-and-winter kind of condiment. Serve it over: pearl couscous, farro, wheat berries, pizza, eggs, pasta, grilled cheese sandwiches, tomato soup, or simply scraped over toast with a pile of the white beans. Cristina Sciarra

Makes: about 1 cup


  • 1/2 loose cup (50 grams) walnuts
  • 1.5 cups (13 grams) basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan
  • the juice of 1 medium lemon
  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • a couple cracks black pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup good-quality olive oil
In This Recipe


  1. Turn the oven to 350F. Bake the walnuts for 10 minutes, until they are browned and smell divine. Set the walnuts aside to cool.
  2. Move the toasted walnuts to the bowl of a food processor; pulse them about 15 times, until the walnuts are crumbly. To the bowl, add the basil, the Parmesan, the lemon juice, the lemon zest, the kosher salt, the black pepper, and the garlic. Blend, while adding the olive oil in a slow, steady drizzle. (I like to mix the pesto until it is quite unified and saucy.) After mixing, taste the pesto; adjust the salt and lemon juice as you see fit.

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Condiment/Spread|Pesto|Walnut|Make Ahead|Serves a Crowd|Winter|Fall|Vegetarian|Gluten-Free