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Sunday, May 27, 2007

Mixed Herb and Walnut Pesto

This pesto is from a mix of herbs we have growing in our garden (listed in order of highest quantity): purple basil, sage, oregano and lemon mint. We also had a few leaves from a regular basil plant from another neighbor's garden. The purple basil gave it an interesting color.

I also followed the Italian grandmother hand-chopping method described here on 101 cookbooks. It took me about 20 minutes to chop everything (I was really going at it though). I think the texture was better than usual pesto made in a blender or food processor because I added the walnuts last so they were a nice contrast to the slippery finely chopped herbs and garlic. I think it was well worth the extra time and was therapeutic to boot.

We ate our pesto over capellini but I love thin noodles and you might choose something that grabs the pesto. Remember to use 1/2 package of pasta unless you double this recipe. Our pesto was really lemony although not overpowering - you might want to use less lemon.

Mixed Herb and Walnut Pesto

You Will Need:
1/3 C Fresh Herbs, Mixed or Just Basil (Whole Leaf, Packed Loosely)
4 Cloves Garlic
1/2 Tsp Salt
1 Tsp Nutritional Yeast
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/2 C Walnuts (Raw)
2-3 Tbsp Fresh Lemon Juice

1/2 Package Pasta (2 servings)

Put all your herbs out on a large cutting board. Take about 1/2 of them and the garlic and with a sharp knife start chopping. (Sharp knife is key - you want to cut through your herbs not just mash through them.) Continuously scrape and mix herbs adding remaining 1/2 bit by bit. When adding final batch of herbs add all walnuts and chop everything until walnuts are finely chopped.

In a small/medium bowl mix in remaining ingredients gradually with chopped mixture adjusting lemon and salt to taste.

Toss through warm pasta and serve.

Makes 2-3 servings.

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