I had some bunches of fresh basil and mint in the fridge that needed to be used up, so I combined them with olive oil and walnuts for a bit of a different take on my usual pesto. The resulting sauce was beautiful and when I tossed it with some sauteed zucchini ribbons, I ended up with a quick, bright, and refreshing lunch.
To make the zucchini ribbons, you will need a mandoline or a wide vegetable peeler. Instead of getting out my big mandoline, I used my little Kyocera ceramic slicer. It worked perfectly to create nearly paper-thin slices of zucchini and I even managed to keep from slicing my fingers. I sauteed the zucchini briefly in some olive oil – it only takes a minute or two to cook when it’s that thin, then dropped a big spoonful of pesto into the pan and tossed it all together. I sprinkled a handful of chopped walnuts over the top and lunch was served.
My whole lunch took less than 20 minutes to prepare and it looked pretty enough to be a restaurant plate. On days like this, I really love cooking for myself. What do you have in your fridge that needs to be used up soon? It’s almost time for lunch!
Basil Mint Pesto with Walnuts
makes about 1 cup
1 cup lightly packed basil leaves
2 cups lightly packed mint leaves
2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup chopped, toasted walnuts
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
squeeze of fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup shredded Parmigiano Reggiano
Put the basil, mint, garlic, walnuts, salt, and lemon juice in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse to chop ingredients, scraping down the bowl as necessary. With food processor running, drizzle in the olive oil in a slow but steady stream. Scrape down the bowl with a rubber spatula and add the parmesan cheese then pulse again to combine.
Recipe notes: If you’d like to freeze the pesto, leave out the cheese. When you’re ready to use it, defrost the sauce then stir in the cheese.