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
Turn the oven to 350F. Bake the walnuts for 10 minutes, until they are browned and smell divine. Set the walnuts aside to cool.
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.
Cristina is a writer, cook, and day job real estate developer. She studied literature, holds an MFA in Fiction Writing, and completed the Basic Cuisine course at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. She lives in Jersey City with her husband--a Frenchman she met in Spain--and their sweet black cat, Minou. Follow her writings, recipes, publications and photography at theroamingkitchen.com.