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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- 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.