Parsley Pesto is a little different. Pesto is usually made with basil and pine nuts, but you can also make it with other herbs or nuts. I made this one with parsley and walnuts, two ingredients that are plentiful here.
Parsley Can Take Over the Garden
I have lots of parsley in my garden. In fact, it's kind of out of control. If I let it, parsley will take over the herb garden. I have a mixture of Italian flat-leaf parsley and the regular run of the mill kind of parsley. They seem to enjoy mingling with each other and are very happy in the garden. They are deep green, healthy and thriving. The tomatoes and cucumbers don't seem to mind them, and they help to keep the weeds and bugs away, so I have let the parleys roam and flourish.
The time has come though, to put some of this parsley bounty to good use. If it's going to take up this much garden real estate, it needs to be more than just a garnish, I'm thinking. Since we love pesto, it made sense to make it with parsley subbed in for the basil. I always have local walnuts on hand, and the earthy, slightly bitter walnuts were a nice balance for the bright freshness of the parsley.
Parsley: More Than a Garnish
This is a really delicious version of pesto. Like any pesto, it's simple to make in a food processor. Because there are so few ingredients, it's important to use very fresh herbs, along with good quality olive oil and Parmesan cheese.
This simple sauce is versatile, too. Toss it with your favourite pasta, or use it as a pizza sauce, or on sandwiches, (my hubby loves it on a beef dip) tacos, or dressing up grilled meats, fish, or veggies.
- 3 cloves garlic peeled
- 2 cups parsley leaves stems removed, packed
- ½ teaspoon coarse salt
- ¼ cup walnuts toasted and chopped
- ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- ½ cup good quality extra virgin olive oil
- In a food processor, put all ingredients except the olive oil, and pulse until you have a rough paste.
- With the processor on low speed, slowly drizzle in the oil, pulsing until the consistency is how you want it. Taste and adjust salt if needed.
- Toss with hot pasta, or use it for a sandwich spread, pizza sauce or dressing up grilled meats or veggies.