Parsley and Thyme Pesto, with toasted walnuts & Grana Padano cheese
Last week when I was reading COTTAGE GROVE HOUSE‘s post on polenta, something I’ve never cooked with, as soon as I noticed their pesto recipe I knew that’s exactly what I wanted to make for last weekend. Partly as I had all of the ingredients to hand. That dish never happened as I spent way too long faffing around with my dessert recipe, Banana and apricot sponge. As the parsley I had was still nicely fresh, although by today its flavour wasn’t as strong, I went with supplementing it with fresh thyme leaves, partly as a particular plant stationed on my kitchen window sill was beginning to look a tad thuggish. So, that was nicely trimmed. Even without a suitable grinder/blender (see lamentable woes of previous post) this is exceptionally easy to make as the walnuts are easy to crush after being toasted – for quite a long time before their fragrance released sufficiently. All I had to do was bash them softly with a very clean base of a small glass herb jar into crumbs – what fun to be had in my kitchen. I’ve admitted before, within my other pesto recipe, that I was never overly keen on the shop-bought stuff. Now, with freshly made, I’m well and truly hooked. And can’t wait to try a version of yoghurt and coriander pesto, Orecchiette pasta with cilantro, again a more recent post on the same blog already mentioned at start of summary. That will have to wait until I can buy in, if and when it’s available, more fresh coriander. These pestos really are turning out to be incredibly tasty, and so easy to make. As long as fresh herbs are available I’ll definitely be making more!
- 20g (0.70 oz) or more x walnuts, toasted and crushed (next time I would use up to 40g (1.41 oz) )
- 1 – 2 x small garlic cloves, root end cut off and discarded, garlic cut into small dice
- 20g (0.70 oz) x flat leaf parsley, rinsed and finely chopped (use thin stems as well)
- extra virgin olive oil, impossible to gauge how much I used – at least 3 good glugs (use as much or as little to gain a consistency to personal taste)
- ½ - 1 x green finger chilli (Scoville rating: 50,000), washed and thinly sliced – use as little or as much needed to gain heat to personal taste (I like to include the seeds as well)
- up to 10 x gratings or freshly ground black pepper – to personal taste
- 1 x tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, using the tips of the stems as well (when stripping the leaves between fingertips any delicate tips of the thyme that come off can be used as they’re nicely tender)
- 20g (0.70 oz) x Grana Padano (or Parmesan), freshly grated
- pasta of choice (fusilli used within photos)
- lemon or lime wedges to serve – optional
Measurements within brackets above are approximate only.
If, like me, there isn’t a suitable grinder/blender available to use then it’s perfectly easy to prepare this by hand.
- Start by toasting the walnuts in a large pan/skillet over very low heat only. Mine took about 20 minutes to get them evenly toasted without any scorching. Then, use whatever there is to hand to crush them. In my case I used the base of a small glass herb jar that was very clean. Walnuts are easy to crush. The amount of crushing depends on how fine they’re needed. Once crushed take off heat and set aside.
- Put pasta on to cook using the instructions on the pack.
- Add a good glug of oil to the walnuts and add the garlic. Put back on lowest heat for just long enough to cook out the rawness of the garlic. Any signs of scorching take off heat and allow the pan to cool. When garlic is fragrant take off heat and set aside.
- When pasta is ready add the parsley, chilli, black pepper and cheese to the walnut mixture (the pan should be cold before doing this), adding more oil to personal taste. Then transfer the pesto to the pasta, stir through and serve immediately, with the fresh thyme leaves and more Grana Padano scattered on top.
All photographs (Todas las fotografías dentro de) within Feed the piglet:
All rights reserved (© Todos los derechos reservados) – Copyright © Johnnysenough Hepburn
Follow on: Pinterest