Chunky Basil Pesto

Most traditional pesto recipes rely on Pine Nuts, but these are expensive and I don’t often keep them on hand. I almost always have walnuts or pecans on hand though. This recipe uses pistachio and pecans but feel free to experiment. If you do use walnuts use slightly less than the amount of nuts the recipe calls for, and DON’T use black walnuts. They are too strong in taste and overwhelm the delicate flavor of the basil.

3-4 red lettuce leaf leaves, if you have them

6 spinach leaves, if you have them

2 cups packed basil leaves

23 pistachio kernels

10 pecan halves

1/2 cup finely diced red tomatoes

1/4 cup diced onion

¼ cup olive oil

Several cloves of garlic crushed

salt and pepper to taste

*Optional: ¼ cup parmesan cheese

Finely chop lettuce, spinach and basil leaves. Rough chop the nuts. Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Toss with 1 lb of your favorite pasta and serve at room temperature, or serve on pita, crostini or bread as a snack or appetizer.