The good news is that the walnut allergy in my family has been rendered moot.  When we were nut-free, I made the following pesto sauce without nuts.  Now, I add walnuts.  You can also use the more traditional pine nuts.  I bought a gorgeous bunch of fresh basil at the Farmer’s Market, and wanted to transform it into pesto quickly before it turned black, as basil tends to do.  From one large bunch of basil, I generated many meals:  tastes great with chicken, on top of bruschetta, and, also mixed into a Cannelloni Bean Pesto Pasta Salad.

Here’s a quick and easy way to make yummy pesto.  If you don’t have a dairy allergy, you can also add some parmesan cheese, in which case you may want to cut back on your salt accordingly.


One large bunch of fresh basil, washed, stems removed

One clove of fresh garlic, peeled

At least 1/4 cup of olive oil (see below)

1/4 cup of walnuts (if you do not have any nut allergies)

Salt and pepper to taste


Grind garlic in food processor.  Add basil leaves, olive oil, salt, and pepper, and combine in food processor.  Add nuts, and turn on food processor until mixture is finely combined.  Add additional olive oil to obtain desired texture (less or more, depending on whether you want more of a paste or a sauce; you can always add more oil later).  When combined, transfer to microwavable bowl.  Microwave on high for approximately 1 to 2 minutes.  Why?  Doing so takes the edge off the fresh garlic.  Serve hot or cold with your favorite pasta, meat, or vegetables!