Dairy Free Basil Walnut Pesto
Simplicity is what I’m about this time of year, and this basil walnut pesto is just that. It’s simple, clean, light, fresh, and the best part is that it pairs with just about anything, even those pesky leftovers in your fridge.
I made this basil walnut pesto on the fly a few weeks ago, as I had a bunch of extra basil that I needed to use up. I posted some of the lunches I paired the pesto with on my Instagram stories, and a number of viewers asked me for the recipe, so I re-created it, and I’m posting for you all today. I know for many of you, basil might not be an ingredient readily available in the grocery store this time of year, and if that’s the case, you can bookmark this recipe for later.
I’m all about warm lunches and foraged meals this time of year, so I’m loving the flavor that this pesto gives everyday leftovers. I wanted to share some examples of what I’m pairing it with just to give you some ideas.
Below is the pesto paired with leftover roasted Brussels and leftover roasted potatoes. This was a such an amazing throw together lunch, and to be honest, it could be an amazing side dish. I may need to just post it as a recipe. I just sautéed the potatoes and Brussels in a bit of avocado oil to warm them up, and then mixed in a few spoonfuls of pesto. Voila, lunch is served!
Here’s another easy leftover lunch combination. I sautéed some spinach in a bit of avocado oil, added in some leftover roasted potatoes and tofu, and then mixed it all with the pesto. Yes, I do love my roasted potatoes!
As you can see, this pesto compliments any leftovers you have, as it’s subtle enough in flavor, and the texture is smooth and light. Pair it with your favorite pasta, add a bit of sausage and broccolini, and you have an easy weeknight dinner!
Dairy Free Basil Walnut Pesto
makes 1 cup of pesto, which is enough for 1 pound of pasta
- 4 packed cups basil – roughly 64-69 leaves in total, depending on the size of your basil leaves, or simply 16-17 leaves per cup
- 1/2 cup raw, unsalted walnuts – halves or pieces are ok
- 3 medium cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 teaspoon fine Celtic sea salt
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
I thought I would show you all how I rinse basil, or fresh herbs in general. I fill a bowl with water and then holding the stems, swish the basil around in the water to get all the dirt off. If you look and the water is super dirty at the bottom, drain it and repeat the process with a fresh bowl of water. Dry the basil in a flour sack towel. The basil doesn’t have to be completely dry for this recipe, so don’t stress.
To the bowl of a food processor, or high-speed blender, add the basil, walnuts, garlic, sea salt, and lemon juice.
Pulse the ingredients a few times, until coarsely chopped.
With the motor running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil and process until smooth, using a spatula once or twice during the process to make sure that everything gets combined. Give the pesto a taste and feel free to add more basil, salt, or lemon to your liking. You could even add a pinch of freshly ground pepper if that’s your thing.
Storage: If not using right away, transfer the pesto to a small glass jar with a lid and store it in the fridge. I always use my Ball glass mason jars to store pesto. They’re cheap, and make for the perfect storage containers, as well as great drinking glasses. Pesto will last for 4 days in the fridge.
Note: Pesto will naturally thicken and harden, as it sits in the refrigerator, so take it out a couple of hours before using to let it come to room temperature. If you’re topping it on something hot, then you don’t need to take it out ahead of time, as it will melt into the hot food.
If you want a chunkier pesto, then try my kale, spinach and basil pesto. This pesto is also dairy free and one of our favorites. It has a super chunky texture that we love. I literally eat this pesto by the spoonful.
We also love this vegan almond pesto pasta. This goes on my rotation at least 2 times a month. It’s a super easy weeknight meal.
I’ll keep adding more photos of what I’m pairing this pesto with, as I have a feeling that it’s going to be a new staple in the house.