We’ve given this traditional basil pesto recipe a twist by replacing pine nuts with walnuts which are often cheaper and easier to find.
- Basil is crucial to certain European cuisines, Italian in particular, but it also features in Indonesian, Thai and Vietnamese cooking.
- This delicate herb is added at the last moment before serving a dish because cooking destroys its unique flavour. For example, fresh basil leaves are added to pizza after it comes out of the wood-fired oven.
Walnut & Basil Pesto
- 40 g walnuts
- 1 garlic clove, peeled
- 60g fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
- 80g parmesan or grana padano cheese, finely grated
- 125ml olive oil, plus more for storing
- salt, to taste
- Toast the walnuts in a 150°C oven for 15 mins. Toss the nuts halfway through cooking time.
- Take the nuts out of the oven and let cool.
- Pound the garlic clove with a pinch of salt with a pestle and mortar until it’s a fine paste.
- Add the nuts to the mortar and pound.
- Place the chopped basil, parmesan, and garlic nut mixture into a food processor to blitz.
- Keep the food processor running while slowly pouring in the olive oil.
- Add salt if needed, and then transfer to a serving dish or glass jar.
- If storing for later use, cover the surface of the pesto with extra olive oil.
More Recipe Ideas
- Fresh Basil & Tomato Caprese Salad
- Watermelon, Basil & Feta Salad
- Creamy Sundried Tomato & Basil Pasta
Nikita is a food writer, stylist & recipe developer based in Johannesburg.
Follow Nikita Singh @nikitasinghstylist on social media