Thursday, July 24, 2014

White Bean Walnut Pesto

Most of the plants in my garden are still doing pretty well, but the basil and cucumber in particular are absolutely on fire.  I've been carrying extra cucumbers around in my purse to give away to family and friends.  I just can't eat them fast enough! 

Luckily, the basil surplus has not been as much of a problem.  It just means it's time to make pesto!
I absolutely love pesto, and I've made this white bean walnut version twice now this week.  I like using walnuts instead of pine nuts because they are chock full of healthy fats and a bit cheaper and easier to find.  Plus, you do not want to risk getting pine mouth!  It happened to my sister-in-law and it sounds awful!

I generally don't eat any meat with this dish, so I like having the white beans in there to bulk up the sauce and add protein.  Just toss the pesto with some pasta and you have a pretty well-balanced meal.  It may not look like you are eating a ton, but I promise it is really filling!
White Bean Walnut Pesto
Makes approximately 3 large servings

1/2 cup chopped walnuts
2 large cloves garlic
2 cups packed basil leaves
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup white beans
Hefty dash of salt and pepper

Blend walnuts and garlic in food processor.
Add in the basil, salt and pepper, and olive oil and blend until thoroughly combined.

Add white beans and Parmesan and blend for just a few more seconds.  It's okay if it's a little chunky.

Just before serving, add in 2 tablespoons of water from the cooked pasta.
Toss with the pasta of your choice and enjoy!

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