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Sun Dried Tomato Walnut Pesto

May 5, 2011

by Elizabeth

I know it’s Cinco de Mayo and you’re probably counting down the work day hours until you have a frozen margarita in one hand and chips with guacamole in the other, but we’re going to talk about Pesto today. Why? Because I got too busy to go to book club to which I was supposed to bring Baked Jalapeno Poppers and then blog about them for Cinco de Mayo. And I’m going OUT to celebrate Cinco de Mayo tonight instead of cooking, and you can see last year’s guide or this fiesta guide if you’re in desperate need of some delicious Mexican recipes.

So, back to the Pesto. This Sun Dried Tomato Walnut Pesto has quickly become a favorite among our friends. It’s made appearances at Dinner Club, Tri Delt Alum board meetings, toomuchfun weekends in Austin, and now is traveling with us to Sarah’s bachelorette party this weekend! Naturally, it’s about time the Pesto got a little attention on the blog. We prefer to serve it on crostini or fresh baguette slices or eat it with a spoon. I imagine you could also toss it with pasta, top a pizza or tart with the pesto and a dab of goat cheese, or stuff it in chicken breasts. Plus, it can be thrown together in about five minutes so it’s perfect for easy entertaining. We hope you love it as much as we do!

Sun Dried Tomato Walnut Pesto, adapted from Smitten Kitchen

1 1/2 cups shelled walnuts, toasted and cooled
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
2 small garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
4 sprigs of thyme, leaves removed from stems
1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
1/4 teaspoon black peper
Splash of sherry vinegar (a teaspoon or so)
1/2 cup roughly chopped sun-dried tomatoes in oil
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 baguette, sliced and toasted

Using a food processor, pulse the nuts, cheese, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper, and vinegar until coarsely crushed and well mixed – about 15 seconds. Add the tomatoes, and pulse again for 15 – 30 seconds, adding oil in a steady stream while processing. Add more oil if it seems too dry, and season to taste. The final texture is up to you, but I prefer mine considerably chunkier than a basil pesto – I still like to see pieces of nuts in the pesto. Serve with crostini.

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