Anatomy of a Dinner Party: a day in the life of a hospitalityaholic

Walnut Pesto With Green Beans & Potatoes

Written by Patti on July 21st, 2010

Good Morning, Darlings!

This weekend, Eric and I had the grand opportunity to just laze about on Sunday. Lazing about has become a rare commodity these days and we relish the times when they arise.

Lazing about almost always includes movies, and this Sunday was no exception. I had been wanting to see “It’s Complicated” and so my darling husband conceded to watching with me.

There is one scene where Meryl Streep walks to the dining room table with a huge bowl of green beans and potatoes covered in pesto. Eric had to have it. I had to make it.

And so, last night I did.

Meryl In The Garden

My container garden has heaps of basil right now. Oh, it smells so good. And, as an aside, last night, my buddy Susan from The Frugal Hostess and I met at Krog Bar, where we were treated to Olive Oil Cakes with Basil Ice Cream by Chef Kirk Parks. I have got to get that recipe. It was oh-my-goodness yummy.

Anyhoo, back to pesto. Pesto normally calls for pine nuts, but at umpteen dollars a pound, I refuse to pay that, so I used walnuts. Just as good, if not better. And walnuts are healthy for you – full of antioxidants or something. Most importantly, cheap. I had them in my pantry, so in they went.

Walnut Pesto

* 2 cups of sweet basil leaves (packed)
* 1/4 cup of walnuts
* 1 garlic clove
* 1/2 tsp. of kosher salt
* 1/4 tsp. of freshly ground black pepper
* 2/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil
* 1/2 cup of grated pecorino romano cheese
* 2 tbsp. of crème fraiche (or sour cream)

On medium-low heat, add the walnuts to a non-stick skillet and toast until nuts are a golden brown. You’ll know when the nuts are done–the nutty aroma will waft up in the kitchen.

Add the basil leaves, toasted walnuts, garlic, salt and pepper to a food processor and chop into all ingredients are fully blended.

Pour in the olive oil slowly until the mixture emulsifies (blends together) to a rich, creamy sauce.

Empty pesto into a medium bowl and mix in the grated cheese and crème fraiche.

Add additional salt/pepper to taste.

Voila! You have pesto. Now all you have to do is cook your green beans and potatoes and mix it all up. Here’s how it should look:

But here’s how mine looked:

Not The Same As The Swanky Photo, But Tasty

And there was pesto left over for pasta, bruschetta toppings or whatever you like to slather your pesto on.

See, wasn’t that easy?

xoxo, Patti

Today blogging to Kermit The Frog – It’s Not Easy Being Green


5 Comments so far ↓

  1. Emily R says:

    That’s one of my favorite pastas too, I make it all the time with whatever pasta I have on hand, linguine, penne, farfalle, anything works.

  2. Patti says:

    Hi Emily,

    It’s the perfect summer dish, isn’t it?

    oxox, P

  3. Quinn says:

    That looks wonderful! And right up my alley as a vegetarian wannabe.

  4. Clint says:

    I love pesto! And you know you can freeze it… So we can have some this winter!

  5. Patti says:

    Thanks, Quinn!
    Clint – we can make pesto chicken for a snowy night at the cabin!

    xoxo, P