Pesto isn’t just for basil! This recipe for walnut parsley pesto is bright, vibrant, and full of flavor. Perfect for slathering on sandwiches, serving with chicken or fish, or tossing with pasta for dinner. It’s the great start to tasty Italian meal.
Here I am on the other side of a lovely wedding we went to this past weekend (my niece got married!), and ready to get into cooking again. Because nearly four days without cooking was quite enough. 😉
Honestly, I can’t go much more than that without getting a little antsy, but it is nice having a break.
Now that I’m back, what’s on the menu? Why, pesto parsley of course! Yeah, you probably figured that out from the title. Anyway…why use parsley instead of basil? I’m glad you asked!
Why You’ll love this recipe
First, as I write this we are in the depths of fall and winter is coming. That means fresh basil is more expensive and hard to come by. No more going into the garden or finding big bunches at the farmers’ market. When we are talking fall/winter recipes, it’s nice to have some other options!
Second, parsley makes GREAT pesto. Think of all the tasty parsley based sauces you’ve enjoyed (maybe some chimichurri? or salsa verde?) and you’ll know that this is going to be amazing and you’ll love it.
Third, parsley stays bright green when pureed into a sauce and that means you’ll have a beautiful, green sauce for your dinner even if you made it days ago. Bonus!
What do you need?
- Parsley – Italian flat leaf is the best and pack it into those cups!
- Walnuts – Half a cup toasted
- Romano – Though you can use parmesan I like the flavor of the romano here
- Olive Oil – A flavorful, fruity oil is best
- Flavorings – Garlic, lemon, and salt
How to make this
To make parsley pesto put parsley, walnuts, romano cheese, garlic, and lemon in a food processor. Start the processor and pour in olives oil while it runs. Continue processing until you have a smooth sauce.
It’s that simple and takes about 5-10 minutes to make!
Can you freeze it?
Yes, you can. I recommend freezing it in smaller portions (ice cube tray size) so that you can easily pull out a small amount for a recipe.
How to use?
Since this recipe is a close variation of the basil version, anywhere you use basil pesto, you can use this recipe. This means you can spread it on paninis or on bruschetta, put it on your chicken or fish, have it with grilled or roasted meats, put it on your pizza, toss it with pasta. The sky’s the limit!
Here are a few recipes I have which would be lovely with parsley pesto:
If you try my recipe for Walnut Parsley Pesto, I would love to hear from you in the comments with your experience and rating! And I’m happy to answer any questions you might have.
– Happy Eating, Annemarie
Italian Walnut Parsley Pesto
- 2 cups packed parsley leaves
- 1/2 cup (2 oz) chopped walnuts
- 1/2 cup (1/2 oz) shredded romano cheese, or parmesan
- 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- To the bowl of a food processor add the parsley, walnuts, cheese, garlic, salt, lemon juice, and lemon zest.
- Pulse the food processor until everything is finely chopped.
- Switch the food processor to on and, while it is running, pour in the olive oil. Continue processing for about 30 seconds after you are done.
- Use immediately or store in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. (Or freeze for up to 3 months.)
- Refrigerating: To have the best flavor in refrigerated pesto, I pour a little olive oil over the top of the sauce when I put in the container. This will keep the herbs at their freshest.
- Freezing: I freeze pesto in ice cube trays (or similar) and then transfer the frozen cubes to a well sealed freezer bag. That way I can take out just a little as needed.
- Walnuts: If you like more texture in your sauce, keep out some (or all) of the walnuts and finely chop the reserved walnuts by hand. Add them when you serve the pesto.