Walnut “more than just pesto” Pesto

IMG_2384I made this walnut pesto in May of 2013 back when I was just beginning this blog.  Of course, that’s back when no one really cared and well, they still don’t really.  But!  But, I refuse to give up. A while back I posted a walnut pesto and cherry dessert that is probably one of my favorites.  If I ever get past the interview process and become a high end pastry chef I am putting it on the menu where I work.

I really like this walnut pesto, a lot.  It sat around doing absolutely nothing, it didn’t contribute to anything good in my life, but I couldn’t let it go.  It was like a bad relationship.  I knew it meant well, it really did, it had hope and possibilities.  Though it sadly didn’t see them without my help.  It was like God brought the walnut pesto into my life for a reason or I’m just a cheap bastard and can’t throw things away.  We all know it’s the latter let’s be honest, we’re all friends you can say it.

If you know me, you know one of my favorite things to do is to get more use out of one thing than just what it’s original use was intended for.  For example, my Mom is not just the woman who raised me to be a decent respectful human being giving back to the world, she’s also my bank.   So I give you the Walnut “not just pesto” Pesto….enjoy….

What I did….

283g           Walnuts  (10oz bag)
115g            Grapeseed oil
102g           Honey

3/4tsp        Cinnamon
1                  vanilla bean, scraped
-I threw everything in the food processor and gave it a couple pulses
-then I would scrape down the sides and give it a couple more pulses
-you want everything to come together but you don’t want to make walnut butter
When you have the Walnut Pesto made you can run from there.  I took a wheel, is it a wheel?  How do you refer to a thing of Brie?  Is it just called a thing of Brie?  I’ll have my assistant Gilberto research this for me.  I took my Brie cheese object and placed it in an oven proof clay pot I bought at Chelsea Market.  Surprisingly cheap too for Chelsea Market.  I baked it in the oven at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes.  You want it soft but not melting.  When it came out of the oven I placed a generous amount of walnut pesto on top of my Brie cheese object.  Look at that!  I had an amazing appetizer starter or just a nice little dish to enjoy for when friends come over and you want to pop a bottle of wine.  I personally sat at the kitchen table with a bottle of champagne and devoured it all to myself as my assistant Gilberto shook his head and said “Please stop.”
Moving on…
Walnut Pesto Vinaigrette
140g             walnut pesto
152g             grapeseed oil
2Tbsp          roasted walnut oil
3Tbsp         sherry vinegar
-put walnut pesto in blender, put the lid on and turn on the blender
-that little hole in the top of the blender, start to slowly pour in your grapeseed and walnut oil
-once it’s become smooth and nice, turn off blender and pour into a bowl
-add your sherry vinegar
Look!  A walnut salad dressing.  Its sometimes nice to call it salad dressing because spelling vinaigrette can be a pain in the ass.  I have to Google it every time.  For the salad I bought some nice lettuce from the Green Market, apple, goat cheese and red onion.  I finished the salad with a little zest from an orange and a sprinkle of sea salt.  I really love a light sprinkle of salt on my salad.  I prefer to zest the orange on my salad as opposed to placing it in the vinaigrette because it gives a nice color and visual appeal to the salad.
I hope you go out of your way and make the walnut pesto.  I totally believe its worth the time, which isn’t really time consuming at all anyway.  You will have plenty of walnut pesto left over.  Don’t fret!  Come back next week and I’ll show you what we are making for dessert with the walnut pesto.
Hope to see you next week!!  Listen, if you don’t come back and you miss it, I don’t want to hear your crying when all your friends are talking about dessert next week.  Just so you know.
Take care!

Party for one. Don’t let the two glasses of champagne fool you.


I’m in love with this salad. Amazing greens from the Green Market in Union Square.


Walnut Pesto and Cranberries with Ciabatta. Perfect!


Beautiful shot. The dressing has a nice walnut flavor without being heavy. Plus walnuts are healthy, think about that.


Baked brie is a classic!! Always a party pleaser.


How could you not love that?