To paraphrase a favourite Canadian songwriter, Kathleen Edwards, parsley pesto makes the dough while basil pesto gets all the glory*. While my basil plants slowly grow enough leaves for a batch (and I carefully water and prune them, and fight off squirrels), I make parsley pesto any old time.
I use walnuts because they’re way way cheaper than (traditional) pine nuts. I use mostly canola oil for the same reason, and also because extra-virgin olive oil can become bitter when it’s whipped up in a blender. Just add xv olive oil when finishing the dish of pesto pasta or pesto grilled zucchini or pesto chicken. (Hot tip: to make any of these dishes just put a giant spoonful of pesto on anything cooked).
- 1 very small clove of garlic
- 1 bunch parsley (2 - 3 cups, packed)
- ¾ cup toasted walnuts (almonds also taste great)
- Small hunk of parmesan (about 2 inches square)
- Juice of 1 lemon
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ to 1 cup canola oil
- Combine everything but the oil in a small blender or food processor. Pureé into smithereens. Taste. It should be intense, very lemony, herby and decently salty. Add the oil and whirl it again just briefly.
- Store this in the fridge in a glass jar for up to a week. Carefully spoon a few tbsp oil over the top once it's in the jar to prevent the top from browning. Or freeze it for up to 3 months.
*”I make the dough, you get the glory” from Asking For Flowers