Saturday, October 23, 2010

Parsley Walnut Pesto

How many of us have bought a bunch of parsley for a recipe only to throw most of it away several days later despite our best efforts to keep it fresh? I know I have.

But no more.

Here's a recipe that will use that leftover parsley and some other ingredients you probably have on hand. Toss the final product with pasta or spaghetti squash, spread it on a piece of toasted baguette or enjoy on a piece of roast chicken. Leftovers never tasted so good.

Parsley Walnut Pesto
Makes about one cup.

1/4 cup walnuts (3/4 oz)
1/2 garlic clove
1 1/3 cups packed fresh flat-leaf parsley
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 1/2 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon finely grated fresh lemon zest (or a splash of lemon juice)

Toast nuts in a dry small heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until fragrant and a shade darker, about 6 minutes, then cool completely.

Pulse nuts and garlic in a food processor until finely ground. Add parsley, oil, cheese, water, salt, pepper, and zest and pulse until parsley is coarsely chopped.

Use your tastebuds to make it perfect. Adjust the lemon juice, salt, pepper or oil to get things to the flavor and consistency that you love.

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