Walnuts are a rich, healthy base for this delicious mouth watering traditional basil pesto sauce or spread. Walnut Pesto takes minutes to make and can amp up the flavor to just about any dish like veggies, eggs, sandwiches and wraps!
Only 6 Ingredients (not counting water) this Walnut Basil Pesto is easy to make, delicious and versatile. We’ve been putting it on everything from spreading it on sandwiches, scrambling with eggs, slashing on pieces of sourdough toast and adding to bowls of hot veggies, the possibilities to use this sauce/spread are endless!
I don’t know why but when I saw the bag full of walnuts sent to me from the California Walnut Association, all I could think about was pesto pesto pesto! It was like the bag was screaming it but it was only the voices in my head. Too much information? Anyways… walnuts make the perfect nutrient dense rich and nutty base for traditional pesto. Their buttery flavor and meaty texture make them a super versatile ingredient in the kitchen.
It makes me laugh to think there was a time in my life where I avoided nuts because they were too calorie dense. Research now shows that healthy fat, particular nuts, are essential to maintaining hormone balance and a desirable body composition. Nuts and seeds are even the star components to heart healthy diets such the mediterranean diet. Walnuts in particular contain the highest amount of omega 3 rich alpha lipoic acid compared to any other nut. The western diet, yes even a healthy diet, tends to promote an overconsumption of inflammatory omega 6 fatty acids compared to anti inflammatory omega 3 fatty acids. Making a concerted effort to include more foods with omega 3 such as walnuts can help to combat inflammation in the body is one of the best things you could do for your health!
In addition to providing hearty healthy fats and tons of flavor to recipes, Walnuts contain many other nutrients such as copper, folic acid, phosphorus, Vitamin B6, Manganese and Vitamin E. Interestingly, Walnuts contain a more rare form of Vitamin E known as gamma tocopherol. In addition to having amazing antioxidant properties like it’s friend alpha tocopherol, this special form has been found to promote natural activity (increases sodium loss in the urine, think natural de-bloating.)
I chose to use more walnuts and very little of the oil found in traditional pesto for a richer thicker spread. It can easily be thinned out into a sauce by adding more water or oil. I hope you like pesto because tomorrow I’m going to give you the best burger recipe EVER!
Walnut Basil Pesto
- 2 Cups Walnuts
- 1/2 Avocado
- 1.5 Cup Basil
- 2 Cloves Garlic
- 2T Lemon Juice
- 1/4 Cup Water
- 1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese (Use vegan parm cheese or nutritional yeast if dairy free/vegan/paleo)
- Combine walnuts, avocado, basil, garlic and cheese (or cheese sub) into food processor, pulse until meal forms.
- Add avocado, lemon juice and water and process until smooth. For a thinner consistency add more water, for a thicker spread add less water.
Makes at least 8 servings
I received free samples of California walnuts mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by the California Walnut Commission and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time. For more walnut recipes make sure to check out the other entries below!