Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Walnut Pesto

I'm not fancy.  See that photo up there with the little red and green garnish?  I did that for you and for the blog, but it's all a lie.  The photo below is how I would really serve this delicious pesto.  All brown on brown and everything.  See, I'm casual.  I do enjoy pretty things, pretty plates and napkins really turn my crank.  But I'm not the type to come up with a garnish to enhance the look of a dish even though that garnish has nothing to do with what's in the dish.  If the pesto tastes good, put it on a pretty plate with the right tool to eat it, maybe add some pretty napkins along side and we're good to go.  There is no basil to be found in this pesto.  It's a rustic blend of earthy walnuts, Parmesan, sun-dried tomatoes and thyme.  It would make a great Autumn or Thanksgiving appetizer.

Walnut Pesto

Notes:  The garnish I used in the top photo was chopped parsley and diced red jalepeno.  It actually tasted great.  It added a bright freshness and a little heat to this appetizer.  I would recommend this combo...if you are the fancy type.

1 cup walnuts, halves or peices, toasted and cooled
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 small garlic clove, peeled and crushed
3 sprigs of thyme, leaves only
1/2  teaspoon salt, or more to taste
2 teaspoons of sherry vinegar (or red wine vinegar)
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons oil packed sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
1 loaf of crusty bread or a baguette, sliced

Place walnuts, sun-dried tomatoes, Parmesan cheese, garlic, thyme, salt and vinegar, in the bowl of a food processor, pulse several times to chop everything.  Add the oil a little at a time, pulsing and scraping down the sides of the bowl, to further break down the ingredients and combine everything into a uniform pesto.

Grill or toast your bread.  Top warm bread slices with a heaping teaspoon of pesto or serve pesto and bread beside each other, letting guest serve themselves. 

Pretty eh?!

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