Sunday, October 27, 2013

No Parm Pesto

I spent the better part of this afternoon making sauces.  It started out with bourbon barbecue sauce, then some homemade mayo, and ending with my new re-discovered love, pesto.  We love all of these and I will share each, but here's the pesto first because I am sure happy to have some back in the fridge.

Back in our vegetarian times, which lasted fourteen years, we ate lots and lots of pasta.  Lots.  We even got the equipment to make our own and had fun entertaining friends with  pasta making shows and dinners.  I won't say that it wasn't good, but we need to put the pasta making gizmos on Craig's list because those shows are over.

I thought my love for pesto sauce was gone forever as well. Now I still make a mean marinara (with grass fed ground beef), but with no pasta to serve it on and my dairy intolerance for the cheeses that go in the classic recipe, I thought the pesto wasn't worth the effort.


As the basil plants stared out at me from our little courtyard kitchen garden last week, I decided to give cheese free pesto a whirl last week.  It is delish!  All this time I thought it was the cheese that gave it the rich yummies.
Guess it's the walnuts.  And you can't get much more Paleo!  Here's the recipe:

Fresh Paleo Pesto

2 cups fresh basil
1 cup toasted walnuts
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup good olive oil

Toast the whole walnuts in a small skillet set to medium heat.  You don't have to stand there with them, but pay attention so they don't burn.  As a rule, when you smell them, they are about ready.  I use a food processor  because the chopping blade comes out of the machine and I can get more of the sauce out of the container when I'm done.  A blender should work just as well, but chop up the first four ingredients a bit to give it some help. Have the oil measured in a cup with a good pouring spout.

Add the basil, toasted walnuts, garlic and salt to your machine.  Buzz it around for a minute or so; the mixture should be a little thick and well incorporated.  Pour the oil through the feeder tube or the hole in your blender's top.  The mixture will loosen and get somewhat creamy.  Scrape it into a dish that you can cover tightly in the fridge since the aroma of the garlic will get everywhere.

This makes about one cup.

Serve it over spaghetti squash, as a dip for vegetables or on eggs.  Heck, I can't think of too much not to top with it.  Yay!

Take good care, k.


  1. Hi Kim - Just encountered your site - It is Brilliant -thank you. Should liven up my cooking. I tend to get grassfed beef or liver out of the freezer and cook and eat the same stuff cooked in bone stock in one pan for the rest of the week. Must get more sophisticated.
    One question - do you skin the walnuts as the skins have a bitter taste?
    Thanks - Fred UK

    1. Fred, thanks so much for your kind words!
      I have never thought of skinning the walnuts...I think there may be some good stuff in the skins. I am with you on the bitter taste and I don't like raw walnuts so I do always toast them up in a little skillet first, That must be what helps with the bitter taste.