Roasted Garlic Walnut Pesto

Roasted Garlic Walnut Pesto - The best pesto EVER! It's packed full of flavor and will make you want to smother anything and everything you can with it. (Vegan & GF) | RECIPE at NomingthruLife.com

When I sit down to write these posts, my process for determining a topic of discussion is usually one of the following… 1) does this recipe relate to a story or memory of mine, or 2) did I or Logan do anything stupid lately. While I don’t always have a story, one of us undoubtedly does something stupid every other day, so that writing avenue usually works out for me.

Now you are probably waiting to hear what Logan or I did that was so stupid. Well, the truth is I’d rather not tell you about how clumsy Logan is, and how if he sets anything on the ground he will undoubtedly walk straight into and punt it across the room. Even if it’s antique glasses that you were planning on selling to make some extra cash. Or that if you tell him something is fragile, he will most certainly test how fragile it is, testing is always completely accidental of course. Or that he fell/slide down the stairs and broke a rung on the staircase within the first three months of moving into our new apartment… because he insists on running up and down the stairs taking multiple steps at a time. I look like an old lady who needs a chair lift to get up and down the stairs.

Anyway, no I’d rather not bore you with how stupid we can be. Wait, was that all about Logan being a master klutz, and nothing about me sucking at anything?

Oops <— ha yeah right.

Roasted Garlic Walnut Pesto - The best pesto EVER! It's packed full of flavor and will make you want to smother anything and everything you can with it. (Vegan & GF) | RECIPE at NomingthruLife.com

Roasted Garlic Walnut Pesto - The best pesto EVER! It's packed full of flavor and will make you want to smother anything and everything you can with it. (Vegan & GF) | RECIPE at NomingthruLife.com

Okay, in all actuality I might not be a clumsy pants like Logan, but I have some special features just the same. So in the name of fairness, even though I still have the distinct image of antique glass shattering across the room, as Logan decided to become a rockette, I will share some of my less finer traits.

BAD/STUPID HABITS:

-  I have insane road rage. Ask my mother. She loves to talk to me on the phone when I’m in a car (driving or not). I permanently drive with my hand on the horn. And should I ever be on live tv, and in a vehicle, they would have to time-delay me by about 35 minutes. I also feel that my parking rage should be considered part of the general road rage, discussed above.
-  I have more hair ties that I have used once, or not at all, then I have of actual used hair ties. This also applies to lip balm.
-  I check out more cookbooks from the library than I should. And I return the majority of them (because they are due) before I’ve had a chance to even actually look at them. And then I request then again, taking it away from some poor SOB who would probably actually read it.
-  I am known to be on my computer and use my phone to check social media, the weather or erm IMDB.
-  I love to buy jewelry (like cheap Charming Charlie, not the fancy pants stuff). I don’t wear jewelry.
-  I waste money on putting the thermostat at 66 degrees every night. AND I sleep with a fan on, all year round. Bye bye $$$.
-  I swear. Like a LOT. A LOT.
-  I’ve always sucked at doing the dishes, and I’ve always owned a dishwasher.

Roasted Garlic Walnut Pesto - The best pesto EVER! It's packed full of flavor and will make you want to smother anything and everything you can with it. (Vegan & GF) | RECIPE at NomingthruLife.com

So I might not kick like a rockette, but I do come fully loaded with wonderful features. It’s no big deal.

But what IS a BIG DEAL is this pesto.

I don’t know about you but I could put pesto on anything and everything. And in turn, it will legitimately taste a million times better, make whatever it is slightly fancier and be presentable to the Queen. I’m not sure what the Queen actually has to do with this. But she’s apart of this now. So if the Queen shows up and you don’t know what to make her, I’m telling you smother whatever you have in the kitchen with this, and you will be good to go.

Probably one of the greatest things about this pesto is how the roasted garlic makes it creamy. It might not look ultra creamy, but hey dip a spoon or your finger in and at first taste you will get it. Creamy pesto has been born. Pesto is one of those foods that once you make it yourself you will want to smack yourself upside the head for ever buying it at the store. Store pesto < Homemade pesto. And should it ever be perfectly acceptable to eat an entire batch of pesto with a spoon, this is the pesto you’d want.

Roasted Garlic Walnut Pesto - The best pesto EVER! It's packed full of flavor and will make you want to smother anything and everything you can with it. (Vegan & GF) | RECIPE at NomingthruLife.com

Foodie Points:

Getting bright green basil pesto: Basil is a delicate little green. It becomes dark and grumpy… aka bruised, when cut. So the trick to having a bright green pesto, instead of a sad brown one, is to blanch your basil before blending. Simply bring a small pot of water to a boil. Place the basil into the boiling water. And count to 10 (as in 10 seconds). Carefully scoop the basil out (with a slotted spoon ideally), and plunge into a bowl of ice water. Let cool completely, remove from the water and pat it dry to remove most of the moisture. Then proceed with pesto making.

Mix up those nuts, and change those greens too: Here’s the thing, pesto is no longer just basil, pine nuts and Parmesan. Opt for a different and more economical nut, such as walnuts like in this recipe. Or try pistachios… they’re a new favorite of mine to use in pesto, plus they are green so you can keep with the theme. And then while you are at it try a different green. I’ve had success with arugula which made for a more peppery pesto, spring ramps which added a nice light garlic and onion tone, and dandelion greens for an earthier pesto. Just play around, taste test as you go and tweak to your hearts desire.

Storing: Pesto stores perfectly in an airtight container in the jar for up to a week. The trick is to (gently) pour a thin layer of oil over top of the pesto before sealing. This prevents air contact which is what browns and makes pesto sad.

Uses: If eating pesto with a spoon isn’t going to cut it, pesto is amazing on veggies, dolloped on top of a soup, slathered onto a sandwich or of course in pasta.

Roasted Garlic Walnut Pesto - The best pesto EVER! It's packed full of flavor and will make you want to smother anything and everything you can with it. (Vegan & GF) | RECIPE at NomingthruLife.com

Okay, the time has come. It’s time to get out there and smother the world with roasted garlic walnut pesto. I mean seriously, grab a paint roller and let’s get at it. The world will be a much better place once it’s smothered in pesto. Trust me.

**Oh hey! If you make any of Noming’s recipes, be sure to snap a photo and share them on twitter or instagram with #nomingthrulife so that the rest of us Nom’ers can see them too! I mean you would only make my day and all if you did!* 

<Roasted Garlic Walnut Pesto – The best pesto EVER! It's packed full of flavor and will make you want to smother anything and everything you can with it. (Vegan & GF) | RECIPE at NomingthruLife.com>
Roasted Garlic Walnut Pesto – The best pesto EVER! It's packed full of flavor and will make you want to smother anything and everything you can with it. (Vegan & GF) | RECIPE at NomingthruLife.com
Yield: 1 cup

Ingredients:

  1. 3 roasted garlic bulbs
  2. 1 cup fresh basil
  3. 1/2 – 3/4 cup grape seed oil
  4. 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  5. 3 1/2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  6. 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  7. fresh cracked pepper

Directions:

  • Remove roasted garlic cloves from bulbs and place into a food processor or a blender. Add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. Enjoy immediately. Store any remaining pesto in an airtight container with a thin layer of oil covering the pesto, and place in a refrigerator.

Notes:

Check out the “Foodie Tips” section of this post on how to ensure your basil pesto is vibrant green and other helpful points.
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Mean Green Pesto Pasta
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Rainbow Soba Noodle Salad

28 comments

  1. Melissa Belanger -

    I wish I would have the guts to set my thermostat that low. I just can’t stand the thought of a super high bill. Although, I do love sleeping with the window open in fall, when it’s getting really cold at night, but not cold enough that you need the heat. I’m sure you know what I mean. Anyway, this pesto looks amazing. I have got to try adding nutritional yeast to stuff. My husband doesn’t really eat dairy and I miss adding grated cheese to things so, so much!

    • Meg -

      Oh I can’t wait for fall for just that reason. Opening up the house and feeling the fresh air… and sleeping with a natural air conditioner instead of selling plasma to afford the real electric one. <— Okay I maybe exaggerated there, just slightly. This pesto is serious business, and it won’t make anyone miss the dairy cheese, nope not at all. I love nutritional yeast, but it has a place and a purpose. I’m not a fan of fakey cheeses that are heavy in it. I like the little touch it adds to things. So definitely hop on that bandwagon asap girl-fran!

  2. Tram Le -

    LOVE vegan pesto! Thanks Meg! I don’t use nooch very much but this is always something I could put it into for that parmesan flavor. And confession: I am good at doing the dishes, but horrible at loading the dishwasher. My husband always has to rearrange my mess, and my boss at Whole Foods just tells me to go home when I try to help clean up after I teach a cooking class. HAHA!!!!

    • Meg -

      Nooch, is perfect in this case to just give it that slight cheesy flavor. Nothing crazy just to help make it a fuller and more traditional pesto flavor. Which I’d say is perfect ;) Haha, well I think you might win on the the dishes front. I just suck at actually putting them in or taking them out. I will go over to the drawer to pull out a utensil instead of getting it out of the dishwasher I am standing in front of. Ugh, so dumb.

  3. Marie @ Not Enough Cinnamon.com -

    Homemade pesto is like the best thing in the whole wide world. Ok, maybe amongst other things, but still! I could seriously eat a whole jar by the spoonful haha. I’m intrigued by the use of nutritional yeast, perfect to make it dairy free/vegan!
    You have a lovely blog, I’m glad you commented on mine, now I’ve found you :)

    • Meg -

      Yep, nutritional yeast makes this pesto taste more like a “traditional” pesto without the dairy. It’s the perfect addition that could fool any dairy nomer. ;) And thanks for the kind words, I’m glad you found me to lol.

  4. Harriet Emily -

    This pesto looks PERFECT Meg! Omg! Yum! Love that you roasted the garlic, I’ve never done that for pesto before. The nutritional yeast makes such a delicious addition too. Also – I am soooo terrible at washing up, it’s what I’m known for in my family. At least it means I don’t have to do it mwahaha!

    • Meg -

      Thanks Harriet! Roasted garlic seriously rocks my world, so putting it in pesto just had to happen. And thank gawwwwd I did. So good! Aw, lucky you get out of the dishes. I just kind of don’t do them and then say to Logan “we really need to do the dishes,” which is his cue to do them. Hehe. It works every time.

    • Meg -

      Thanks Kathryn! It’s funny because when I’ve seen other people have road rage directed at me (I live in a city, it’s impossible to not find a jerk) I actually end up laughing. For example, when I see the guy behind me (inevitably it’s a guy) throw his hands in the air, I just throw mine in the air too. And make stupid voices, mocking what he’s probably yelling at me. The hand-throwers, they’re my favorite :)

  5. Sarah | Well and Full -

    I HAVE SUCH BAD ROAD RAGE TOO!!! I swear to God in real life I’m a nice person, but if you get me behind a driver going below the speed limit, I LOSE IT. But anyways… this pesto looks FANTASTIC and I’m drooling over those pictures of the roasted garlic. :)

    • Meg -

      Ha, I’m the same way too. I don’t think most people would guess I go friggin crazy in the car. Living in a big city is THE. WORST. too. There’s just more idiots to go around. And I’m pretty sure drooling over roasted garlic is kind of a requirement in life. It also means you’re doing it right. ;)

    • Meg -

      Oh, it’s the best Kari. I’m so glad I planted that little seed for you to try it. You’ll be in pesto heaven. Promise. And I’m loving my herb garden soooo much this summer too. And I’m using it, like I should have been before. Logan’s going to rig me a little light system so we can bring them in this winter and pretend it summer herb season all year round. Thanks for stopping by Kari!

    • Meg -

      Oh Consuelo I just love you and YOU crack me up. And make this pesto already, and then smother the world and let me know how it works out, k. Thanks chica!

    • Meg -

      Thanks Anu! Homemade is the only way to go in this joint. And this one is easily THE BEST pesto I’ve ever had. Thanks for your sweet words, have a fantastic week :)

    • Meg -

      It’s cool temps or bad dreams, yep I’m paying the big bucks for a cool nights sleep. And be sure to use the biggest spoon you’ve got, you’ll thank yourself for it. ;)

  6. Justyna -

    Sounds delicious! And I totally agree when it comes to going for the cheaper nuts. Got everything, but basil… :( Can’t wait to get that shopping sorted and make your lovely pesto!

    Again, thanks for sharing x

    • Meg -

      Thanks so much Justyna! You can go with a different green like spinach or veggie tops if you have any on hand. But definitely give it a try with basil if you can – it’s just perfection! I hope you love it Justyna :)

  7. Marlene @ Idle Hands Awake -

    I just found your blog through Pinterest and I have to say, I haven’t actually been interested in reading a blog post in SO LONG. Usually I just scroll through for pictures, recipe, instructions. But your writing is so fun that I keep clicking through to READ! All this to say, bonus points to you for cutting through all the fluff with a voice that resonates. (Also, your description of your relationship with Netflix on the orecchiette post is exactly how my life is. If you decide to go ahead with the takeout-Netflix plan, I will be your biggest customer).

    • Meg -

      Marlene – a super HUGE virtual hug for you friend. I sooo appreciate your sweet comment and am happy to hear you have been entertained :)
      I’m still debating that Netflix plan… I don’t know if my waistline can make it work ;)
      Thanks Marlene <3

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