Whether you grow parsley in your garden or buy it from the store, this parsley pesto is a great way to preserve it!
It freezes beautifully and is perfect is sauces, spooned over roasted meats or fish, stirred into pasta. We even love it as a pizza sauce!
When I was growing up, parsley was a tough, curly thing that sat on your plate. It was to make your plate look pretty, not to eat (though sometimes I would occasionally hear that chewing it would freshen your breath).
I had never even heard of Italian flat-leaf parsley. My how times have changed. Now, I buy a bunch of fresh parsley every week.
Parsley can be pretty much tossed into anything towards the end of cooking to add a fresh flavor, and it is still useful to make your plate look pretty.
A little fresh parsley sprinkled on a dish before serving makes me feel like a chef (though mine somehow never looks as pretty as those on TV, it must be an acquired skill).
I buy organic parsley, which is a tad bit expensive (a least compared to non-organic), so I really hate to let any of it go to waste. When I saw this recipe in The Modern Vegetarian Kitchen for a parsley pesto, I knew I had to try it!
Parsley - I buy organic parsley whenever I can.
Walnuts - you can also use almonds or pine nuts.
Garlic and salt.
Lemon zest and juice - zest your lemons first and then juice them!
Extra virgin olive oil - use a good quality oil, one that you like the flavor.
Toast the walnuts in a dry skillet or in a 350 oven until golden.
Zest and juice the lemon and peel the garlic.
Place the walnuts in the food processor and process until they are a fine meal.
Add the parsley, garlic, lemon zest and juice, and process until coarsely chopped. Slowly add the oil until the mixture is the texture you like.
Stir in about 1 teaspoon of salt and taste and adjust salt it necessary.
This is so good! You'll always want to have a jar handy! Bonus if you are vegan and looking for a pesto without cheese! Even you cheese lovers won't miss it with this parsley walnut pesto!
To store pesto in the fridge, place it in a jar and top with a layer of olive oil. It will keep for about 2 weeks.
To store in the freezer, either put in in jars to use larger amounts or put it in ice cube trays. After it's frozen in the ice cube trays, pop them out and store them in a ziplock or vacuum sealed bag. Pesto will keep in the freezer for about 6 months, after that it loses some of it's fresh flavor.
This is so good, and I have such plans for it: spooning over grilled or roasted fish or chicken, stirred into pasta or grains, in a bowl on a cheese board, spread onto pizza dough...really the options are limitless!
More pesto recipes:
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- 1 ½ cups walnuts toasted
- 4 cups flat-leaf parsley packed
- 2 cloves garlic peeled
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest finely grated
- 3 tbsp lemon juice fresh squeezed
- ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Using the metal blade of your food processor, grind the walnuts until they are a fine meal.
- Add the parsley, garlic, lemon juice and lemon zest and pulse until coarsely chopped.
- Drizzle in the olive oil with the motor running until pesto is even chopped and to the texture you want.
- Stir in salt and taste and adjust seasoning.
The was originally published in 2008 and has been updated for 2020.
BRILLIANT! I had no idea you could turn parsley into pesto! This recipe is a total game changer!
Wow, I've never thought to make pesto this way! I'm excited to try this recipe as we love pesto pasta dishes!
Fun way to preserve herbs. I use my ice tray for pesto more than actual ice!
Parsley grows like a weed in my garden so I always have this overabundance. I owe you one because I am making some and freezing away.
P.S. I also believed parsley was the nasty only garnish that had zero purpose but to take up space on the plate.
Freezing pesto to enjoy in the winter is a good idea!
I love this idea. I used to freeze homemade pesto in mini muffin tins when I had an abundance of parsley and basil growing in my garden in Dallas. It was so easy to mix a batch in the summer then pull it out of the freezer and use as needed year round. Great post!
Sounds really good. I have a lot of parsley right now so I think it means I should be making this!
(And never too many cookbooks, don't worry about that!)
That looks really good. How does it taste? I am especially interested, as there is no dairy in it!
Mike of Mike's Table says
lol, you reminded me of my childhood...not only was parsely only for decoration, but I was convinced that you simply couldn't eat it. It just wasn't a food and it would be like eating grass. Haha, my how I've changed. 😉
The pesto sounds like a tasty thing to have handy and I never would have thought about packing it in the ice cube trays. That seems like a great tip!
[eatingclub] vancouver || js says
I just threw out another bunch of basil (forgot about the vase technique in the middle of packing up for a move) and it broke my heart. I hate throwing out parsley too so I love the idea of a parsley pesto.
Now if only I can work these ice-cube trays. . .
preppy little dress says
i love using parsley, thanks for sharing.
Treasures By Brenda says
I grew my own parsley for a couple of years but the neighborhood rabbit kept eating it...
Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) says
My garden has given me the most amazing flat-leaf parsley this year. I started it from seedlings bought at an organic farm near here, so the plants were completely acclimated. The flavor is so intense -- and I've been making pesto with it, too!
I just made basil/pine nut pesto last week and loved it. I am excited to try this version - it sounds great.
Patricia Scarpin says
Oh, Pam! I have got to try this - being crazy for pesto, I know I'll become addicted!
superb way to have fresh pesto year-round! and boy, is it some beautiful pesto. forget basil, give me parsley!
Like you I went from garnish to loving it! I have realy developed a taste for it in recent years... Great pesto.
Next year, when I can use my freezer again!
noble pig says
Hey what a great way to use up the stuff Pam!
Marjie - mine looked wilted for a couple of days, but then it perked up and started looking better every day.
I found a milkman who delivers, and he's also a farmer. So I bought fresh basil because you love it so. I used it last night on my chicken. But it's looking a little wilty sitting in a vase of water - do you think that's because it's already begun to flower?
I love using Parsley, too!