Come on, how many people think that pesto is only made with basil, if you do you won’t be the only one. So many people think of pesto as the green jars of basil stuff in the supermarket, making your own is a breeze and there are lots of different types, this lovage and walnut pesto is one of my favourites.
Pesto is such a useful sauce and I make it out of all sorts of herbs and veggies and different types of nuts too. In this recipe I’m using walnuts instead of the pine nuts that are usually associated with pesto. The walnuts have a good strong flavour that pairs well with lovage which has a strong flavour itself.
When toasting the walnuts break them up a bit first and then toast in a dry pan and don’t let them burn or you will have to start again. You will know when they are ready (about 1 minute) when they turn just golden and that lovely nutty aroma comes off them.
If you haven’t heard of lovage it is a huge leafy herb that has the taste of celery. You can use the young tender leaves in salads and use all other leaves for soup and sauces etc. It is an easy herb to grow and will come back year after year and survives almost anything, including the harshness of winter life up here on Walton’s Mountain.
This lovage and walnut pesto is simply whizzed up in your food processor, or, if you want to go the old fashioned and correct (according to the Italians who invented pesto) way use a pestle and mortar and make it by hand.
Serve your lovage and walnut pesto stirred into plain pasta as I have here, over chicken, as part of a salad dressing, in sandwiches or as a dip.
LOVAGE AND WALNUT PESTO
- 1 large handful of young fresh lovage leaves
- 2 tbsp walnuts
- 1 clove garlic chopped
- Juice and zest of 1 lemon
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2-3 tbsp Olive oil
- 1 tbsp parmesan
- Break up the walnuts and toast them in a dry pan for approximately 1 minute until golden and aromatic
- Allow to cool
- Whizz with all other ingredients in food processor or use pestle and mortar