Truffled Walnut Pesto

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Garlic and I don’t get along. You see, I like it, but it doesn’t like me. I’ve always loved the flavor, don’t get me wrong, but indigestion, headache, and sweet tooth syndrome (yeah, it totally has to be a thing) seem to develop after eating this Allium sativum. Not only that, I absolutely hate having garlic breath all night long/the next 24 hours. No Euthymol or tongue scraper can get rid of that. Also, I had begun to notice the last year or so that every time I had to chop fresh garlic, I’d have garlic fingers for several days after. Like, I could smell the scent of garlic in the pores of my fingertips for literally 4-5 days after. And it makes me nauseous. See, we gots problems.

But not to fear. That doesn’t mean that I will go without having garlic in my pesto. That is one thing I will not sacrifice. Garlic breath and fingers aside, I have found two ways around this: 1. purchasing already pre-crushed garlic in the jar (I like Trader Joes’), or 2. ask boyfriend to chop it up for you. Method number 2 seemed to work for this recipe quite well.

I hope that none of you have this problem. I hope you and garlic get along just fine. Less for me, more for you!

That aside, this is, by far, the best homemade pesto I have ever made. I hardly ever make it, but I bought a whole package of basil last week for juicing recipes, and had a ton left. I also received a huge package of homegrown walnuts from my grandmother’s farm a few days ago. So that’s when the two pieces of the puzzle came together. But then, on top of that, I thought a little pinch of truffle salt be a nice touch. And it surely was.

This recipe is dedicated to both of my (living) grandmothers, on both sides. If it weren’t for either of them, I wouldn’t have been able to make this. Grandma #1 supplied the homegrown walnuts, and grandma #2 supplied my new 7-cup Cuisinart (I’m not sure how I survived so long with a 3-cup one, but I somehow managed!).

Thank you, grandmas. I have the best grandmas in the universe.

Truffled Walnut Pesto

Makes about 3/4-1 cup of pesto

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup walnut halves
  • 1 cup basil leaves, packed tightly
  • 1 cup fresh spinach leaves, packed tightly
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup shredded or grated grana padano
  • 1/2 lemon, squeezed (about 1 Tbsp.)
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • black truffle sea salt, to taste (I bought mine here)

Directions:

  1. Place walnut halves in a food processor and process until finely chopped.
  2. Add in basil, spinach leaves, and garlic. Pulse until well incorporated.
  3. Add in lemon juice and grana padano.
  4. With the lid on and motor running, steam in olive oil.
  5. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  6. Mix with your favorite pasta or whatever!
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