- 1 cup chopped toasted walnuts
- 1 cup (packed) fresh Italian parsley leaves
- 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh chives
- 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh dill
- 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh mint
- 2 1/2 teaspoons finely grated lemon peel
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
With machine running, drop garlic into processor and chop finely. Add walnuts and next 6 ingredients; using on/off turns, process until chunky puree forms, occasionally scraping down sides. Transfer to bowl. Mix in Parmesan cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper. DO AHEAD Pesto can be made 4 hours ahead. Cover and refrigerate.
Walnut Pasta Sauce
Creamy walnut pasta sauce, a 10-mins vegan sauce that’s dairy-free and gluten-free. This walnut pasta recipe is so easy to make, high in protein and only requires 7-8 basic ingredients with your pasta of choice.
Move over cashew pasta sauce, hello walnut pasta sauce! This creamy walnut sauce is more budget-friendly, lower in saturated fat and full of their own nutrition benefits than traditional cashew or dairy cream sauce.
This easy pasta recipe makes the more buttery, velvety, smooth, creamy walnut pasta sauce. It’s perfect for vegan alfredo pasta, creamy spinach sauces, rosé sauce or anything else that needs a vegan creamy white sauce.
A lot of critiques of many vegan cream sauces are qualms with cashews. Although cashews have the potential to be a weapon in your vegan pantry, walnuts are the affordable, lower fat sister.
Related Recipe: Easy Vegan Rosé Pasta
Spring Herb Pesto with Roasted Walnuts
When someone mentions “pesto,” you probably think about basil. It’s become synonymous with a traditional pesto alla genovese, a beautiful basil sauce originating from Genoa used on pizzas, pastas, in soups, and as part of many delectable appetizers. But “pesto” is actually the shortened form of the word “pestato,” meaning to pound or crush, referring to the crushing of garlic and herbs. It’s Latin root is “pestle.” So, you can make all kinds of pestos–mint pesto, nettle pesto, parsley pesto, and more. I love working with it in the spring and summer when you can pull greens fresh from the garden and whip up a sauce in a minute, no cooking necessary.
Traditional basil pesto is tough to beat, but I do like to play around with the herbs in our garden and work with what’s fresh. Here’s a springtime version heavy on what’s growing in our garden now–fresh parsley and arugula, with hints of mint. We love the complexity of flavors in this sauce–the freshness of the parsley and mint combined with the spiciness of the arugula and garlic. I also really appreciate the richness of roasted walnuts here.
- 2 medium garlic cloves (I actually used 1 medium and two small cloves, so go with your best guess here)
- 1 cup fresh parsley, packed tightly (equivalent to nearly an entire standard bunch of store-bought parsley)
- 2 cups arugula, packed
- 3 big sprigs mint, de-stemmed, leaves only
- 1 cup walnuts, roasted
- 1/2 cup good olive oil (tasting variety not bitter)
- Sea salt (such as flake sea salt)
- Freshly ground black pepper
Roast walnuts at 450-degrees until crisp and dark brown in places.
In a mixer (I used a Cuisinart), add garlic and pulse until chopped. Add all other ingredients at once, layering parsley first, then arugula and mint, then roasted walnuts. Sprinkle with a good pinch of flake sea salt and a few grounds of black pepper. Pour in your good olive oil.
Blend on a low setting or pulse until smooth, stopping to stir occasionally if necessary. Add more salt or pepper to taste. Use on pizzas, pastas, sandwiches, potatoes, soups, simple toasts, or our favorite–Italian Farinata with Baby Radishes, Early Potatoes, and Fresh Mozzarella.
One never has to feel alone at the house of my friends in Chicago. Living on the shelves and nooks of their kitchen are these characters brought to life by the hands of Erick Howenstine as his relaxing past-time in the studio. Each day you could choose your cup to match your mood, or you could have conversation if you needed an ear. Most of them have ears. And eyebrows. Some have teeth. Or perhaps Erick’s relaxing past-time is
Curried Broccoli Salad (from Soul Cookbook)
Soul by Todd Richards was a winter acquisition from Redbery bookstore in Cable, WI—one of those awesome small independent bookstores that we need to keep alive. It was hard to resist the warming menus and ingredient lists when it was 20 below outside. Tangent story–my friend went on a for-hire fishing boat in Florida to escape the winter and commented to the captain that the temperature in their northern home was 15 below. The captain said, “Below what?”
During a catering week last summer I was driving through my neighborhood and saw a Yard Sale sign in a yard I’ve always noticed and thought looked interesting, with curious fencing and attentive gardening. So though I was mid-errand I stopped in and had the pleasure of great conversation with my new friend Bill about wool, yarn, Navajo jewelry, and more. The visiting then made its way around to food (doesn’t it always?) and names, he then exclaimed that
Walnut Herb Pesto
What to do with old food magazines? For years they sat on the shelf and I would occasionally peruse them to search for a new concept or favorite old recipe, but mostly they just sat there taking up space. Last winter I declared them the low-hanging fruit of Clearing and Cleaning, so for a series of mornings I sat down with my coffee, a fun-looking notebook, and the piles of magazines and proceeded to flip through them and scribble
Favorites Spring 2019
“I tend to just follow suggestions from my subconscious… For me the process of trial and error is like swallowing mental sand from oysters in the hopes my subconscious will give me pearls.” . Kenny Shopsin My cousin gave me this book a few years ago, and after some highly amused reading it then sat on the shelf for a while, nearly forgotten. Lately I’ve been going through the Stuff That Has Accumulated and rediscovered Kenny
Just living is not enough… one must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.” .
Hans Christian Andersen First, a few delectable moments of spring from last weekend. While we sisters visited inside our little rented getaway house, outside these beauties in the front yard opened up during the night. What a gift! I love how they arrive while everything else is still gray and brown around them, an appreciated contrast. Contrast is an interesting thing,
Asparagus with Curried Honey Mustard Vinaigrette
A Springtime Soirée. My friend Patsy and I have a little tradition of setting a date then seeing what we have in our fridge, freezer, or pantries to create an evening of delicious Small Bites. It might be a cup of pintos, salmon, broccoli, olives, soup, cheese…even when it feels like I have nothing special to bring somehow between us the combination of treats works perfectly together. It’s amazing what abundance can happen when sharing. Without fail they have
My Happy Feet
“The Human Foot is a Masterpiece of Engineering and a Work of Art” . Leonardo da Vinci It’s been a long journey. My sisters and I grew up running around the farm barefoot and we prided ourselves in being tough enough to run on gravel by the end of the summer. But when school began, on went the shoes…at least until we arrived back home and the shoes were off as soon as we were in the
Chocolate Ricotta Mousse
This is a super-duper easy way to enjoy the creamy pudding sensation with a bonus of a protein boost and without worrying about ‘breaking’ the custard. We were enjoying this and musing that everything can benefit from adding chocolate, que no? Well, maybe not grapefruit. Or rhubarb. But pretty much everything else. Ricotta cheese can be found in stores, or try making your own, it’s easier than it looks. Re-entry after our simpler and nearly internet-free life in the
Coconut Red Lentil Soup
Cheery and light, this is a great soup for any season. But first, a few more pictures of SNOW. Keweenaw Peninsuala style, that is, as in 274 inches this year (yep, that’s right…nearly 23 FEET of snow!). So far. These are not drifts from the wind or snowplows…it’s just snow. Somewhere back there through the tunnel is a door to the house. Needless to say the Great Bear Chase ski marathon was not cancelled due
Bereuk, Scattergood style
Most of my high school years were spent at a small Quaker boarding school (Scattergood Friends School) where the students participated in the chores of living in a community—in particular the cooking and cleaning tasks of daily life. Students made the bread and granola and helped prep all three meals for the entire school, it is where I was first exposed to a commercial kitchen and where I fell in love with both stainless steel and feeding others. It
Favorites February 2019
Another year, another 13,000 skiers trekking along a trail in the woods for the many races of Birkie week. This year the organizers of the American Birkebeiner XC Ski Marathon did not lose sleep worrying about canceling the race due to lack of snow. I’m certain they lost sleep worrying about other details, but definitely not lack of snow. Many of you in the upper Midwest have been cursing the skies for the pummeling you’ve received this prolific
Onion Pie again
Let’s face it, I’m kind of lazy. I love skiing in the woods and being surrounded by snow-laden trees, appreciating the incredibleness of our world, and once I get moving I love the action. But honestly, what I also love is the wearied-muscle-relief of coming in from a ski in the woods. That bliss-loaded exhaustion after outdoor fun exertion (very different from stress-loaded exhaustion) is part of the reason I go out at all. I do love my endorphins. Someone
Hungarian Mushroom Soup
The warm weather of the weekend brought everyone out of the woodwork. Some items don’t fit in our little freezer-cooler so they live in the snow, apparently it piqued the interest of a small neighbor in the hood who took advantage of the higher temperatures and ventured out from their subnivian homes to find some snacks. There’s an amazing world of activity under the snow, insulated from the cold and hidden from many predators. Kids in bright
The weather is wintery and the snow is deep so it’s time again for a glimpse at life in the our cozy ski-in rustic cabin at ABR in Ironwood, Michigan. While everyone else has been suffering through the trials and tribulations of the polar vortex in the U.S., we’ve been hunkered down in the coziest spot possible with no need to drive and no need for electricity in these arctic conditions. Throw in a sauna every night (complete with
Wilted Red Cabbage with Feta
Oh Deborah, we love you. As I mentioned earlier, I’m in a phase of sorting through the cookbooks—culling then re-exploring the ones that are staying. Different foods catch our eye at different times, so it’s a great experiment to pull out the books and give them another round of attention. Deborah Madison is always a favorite, and as we are now in the winter wonderland I wanted to bring ideas for hearty vegetable dishes that were easy and could
Potato Masa Torpedos/Molotes
Rick Bayless again comes to the rescue providing interesting foods. He does pretty dang well at trying to give the real story of these foods, and the love of Mexico comes through in his writings. This provides good reading and happy thoughts on these chilly evenings. Masa Harina and Fresh Masa Fresh masa is mashed or ground hominy—corn that has been soaked in lye (sodium hydroxide) or lime (calcium hydroxide) which dissolves the hull and releases calcium and niacin
African Peanut Soup
We made a version of this soup in the Deli but I seem to have misplaced the recipe so I’ve been trying to recreate it lately. I started with the basic ingredients of a classic peanut soup—peanut butter or ground nuts with sweet potato and tomato—then went from there. The recipe is based on soups common in western Africa, but interestingly those three ingredients originated in the Americas. Peanuts probably originated in Brazil or Peru where there are
Favorites New Years 2019
Hopefully you are able to have a relaxing day, this very first one of 2019, to enjoy time with friends/family or maybe just relish a free afternoon. Here it’s chilly and frosted with white (finally), but I’m enjoying it from inside with a sniffly nose and a hot cuppa. A slow beginning that makes me deeply appreciate how great it is to wake up and feel healthy the rest of the time! I’m not much of a vodka
Chile Glazed Yams and Rick Bayless
It’s easy to spend hours reading books by Rick Bayless. Restauranteur author, educator, and host of PBS’s Mexico: One Plate at a Time….needless to say he’s a busy guy. Rick has lived and still spends time in Mexico, and does a respectful job at bringing traditional Mexican fare to the spotlight with a modern interpretation, not to mention the recipes with side notes are both incredible and accessible. His restaurants include the extensive Frontera family of sites, Topolobampo, Red O,
Walnut Pesto and Potato Pizza
1. Combine all of the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until smooth and creamy. You may add a teaspoon or two of olive oil, if needed, to get to the consistency you desire. Set aside.
1. Heat oven to 500°F. Place a pizza stone or rimless baking sheet on the lowest rack of the oven.
2. Place the ball of dough on a floured sheet of parchment paper. Use your fingers to stretch it out to a 10 inch diameter. Work from the center and be careful not to rip it. The center should be relatively thin. Around the edges of the pizza dough, leave a 1-inch border of slightly thicker, puffier crust.
3. Cover the dough with a towel and allow it to rest for 15 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, bring a small pot of salted water to a boil. Add the potatoes and boil for about 3 minutes (they should be easily pierced with a fork but not falling apart). Drain and set aside.
5. Brush the dough all over with olive oil.
6. Spread 1/2 cup pesto over the dough (Leftover pesto can be placed in the fridge for up to one week). Sprinkle generously with mozzarella and arrange the potato slices over the cheese.
7. Transfer the pizza to the pizza stone and bake for about 10 – 14 minutes (until the crust is puffy and nicely browned).
8. Carefully transfer the pizza from the oven to a cutting board. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper, top with a few fresh basil leaves and serve alongside some shredded Parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes.
- 1 cup walnut pieces (4 ounces)
- 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
- 2 garlic cloves, quartered
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 pounds cremini mushrooms, trimmed and quartered
- 1/4 cup chicken stock or canned low-sodium broth
Preheat the oven to 400°. Put the walnuts on a rimmed baking sheet and toast in the oven for about 4 minutes, or until lightly browned. Transfer the nuts to a plate to cool completely. In a small food processor or mini-chopper, combine the nuts with 1/2 cup each of the parsley and cilantro, the garlic and a large pinch each of salt and pepper. Process to a paste. Add 3 tablespoons of the olive oil and process briefly to blend. Scrape the mixture into a small bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
In a large skillet, warm 1 1/2 tablespoons of the olive oil over high heat. Add half of the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring, until browned, about 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and cook the mushrooms until the liquid evaporates and they brown again, about 8 minutes. Transfer the mushrooms to a large plate and repeat with the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil and mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper.
Return all of the mushrooms to the skillet and add 1/2 cup of the nut paste. Stir in the chicken stock, 1 tablespoon at a time, to make a sauce. Season with salt and pepper and transfer the mushrooms to a large shallow dish. Serve warm or at room temperature, sprinkled with the remaining 1 tablespoon each of parsley and cilantro.
- Experiment with other nuts : You might be able to do a nice alternative version of the walnut sauce with toasted almonds, or toasted pecans instead. Or a blend of whatever nuts you have available. I've been doing 100% walnuts but suspect using other nuts would be great. The key is seasoning well - salt, pepper, and a bit of lemon juice. Take your time getting this part right.
- Add some green ! Throw a bunch of broccoli florets or asparagus in to the pasta pot at the last minute to add a veg component to this without getting another pot dirty. We were out of both (yikes) or you would have seen one of them make an appearance here.
- Leftovers! Make a quick pasta & bean stew if you have leftovers. Combine the walnut-y pasta with some white beans in a saucepan. Add good tasting broth, heat, season, and add a bit of grated cheese to bring it all together. A handful of well-chopped kale wouldn't be unwelcome.
Glaced balsamic honey chicken with mediterranean herb polenta
A festive main dish recipe for balsamic honey chicken that´s very easy to prepare but looks really perfect and extravagant. The fine taste of honey harmonizes perfectly with the balsamic flavor of the balsamic honey chicken and the homemade walnut-herbal pesto with creamy polenta.
Ingredients (for 4 servings):
250 ml of balsamic vinegar
for the walnut herb pesto:
6 tbs fresh or dried herbs
Heat the oven for 175 degress. Stir the honey with a little bit of pepper and the balsamic vinegar until smooth. Put the chicken breasts into a box and pour it with the balsamic-honey marinade. Shut the box and shake it. Pour the walnut oil in a casserole, put the marinated chicken breasts on it and bake them for 35 minutes.
For the polenta: Heat the vegetable broth. When the broth is cooking stir in the polenta with a whisk. Let it simmer for 3 – 5 minutes. Stir in the cream and the grated parmesan. Flavour it with salt and pepper.
Put all the ingredients together and mix them in a blender or a mortar to a creamy, smooth pesto.
Serve the polenta with the diagonal sliced chicken breasts and top it with the pesto and some walnuts.
Salsa di noci (Ligurian Walnut Sauce)
I would venture to say that, other than producing Christopher Columbus, Liguria is probably best known as the home of pesto genovese, or basil pesto. But the region produces another kind of pesto, known as salsa di noci or Walnut Sauce, that deserves much more attention.
The most typical use of salsa di noci is to dress pansoti, or ‘pot bellies’, a kind of triangular Ligurian ravioli stuffed with cheese and an mixture of greens and herbs known as preboggion . But I find that walnut sauce works very well with all sorts of fresh or dried pasta or, best of all, gnocchi.
Traditionally made in a mortar and pestle, these days the food processor make short work of preparing salsa di noci. If you use store-bought pasta or gnocchi, you should be able to get dinner on the table in 15-30 minutes at the most.
Looks-wise, Walnut Sauce is not particularly spectacular—it’s rather pale and wan, in fact—but the taste is really something special. Nutty, of course… but the pinoli add a certain sweetness, the Parmesan savory umami, the bread and milk a gentle creaminess and the garlic a subtle hint of pungency. Try it and you’ll see.
- 200g (7 oz) shelled walnuts
- A handful of pine nuts
- 1 small clove of garlic
- One slice of bread (or a dinner roll), crusts removed, soaked in milk and squeezed dry
- 75g (2-1/2 oz) grated Parmesan cheese
- A drizzle of olive oil
- A generous pinch of salt
- Milk, about 125ml (3/4 cup) or q.b.
- A sprig of fresh marjoram
Put the walnuts, pine nuts, garlic, bread, grated cheese, olive oil, salt and, if using, Greek yogurt in a food processor until you have a rough paste. Little by little, add the milk through the funnel of the processor until the mixture turns smooth and rather thick but rather soft. Taste and adjust for seasoning. Add the marjoram and give the sauce one more whirl.
Take your gnocchi (using this recipe for homemade potato gnocchi or just use store-bought) and boil them in well salted water until they come to the surface of the water.
Drain the gnocchi (but not too well) and transfer to a large warmed bowl. Add the walnut sauce and, if you like—although some sources call it heresy—a knob of butter. Mix gently with a spatula, adding a bit of the water in which you boiled the gnocchi to thin out the sauce if need be.
Serve immediately with additional grated cheese for those who want it.
Notes on Salsa di noci (Walnut Sauce)
The recommendation to add a spoonful of Greek yogurt may seem, at first blush, rather odd. But the original recipe for salsa di noci calls for something called prescinsôea, a kind of fresh cheese which is more or less impossible to find outside Liguria. It has a slightly tart taste, which Greek yogurt, along with parmesan cheese, is meant to approximate. (The original recipe for pesto genovese also calls for it.)
There are any number of variations for salsa di noci, or Walnut Sauce. Many recipes call for blanching the walnuts and removing their semi-bitter skins. I rather like the slightly bitter taste, so I don’t. But if you are put off by the slight bitterness the skins impact, by all means, you can add this extra step.
Most recipes call for grated Parmesan cheese rather than the original prescinsôea. Not all call for pine nuts or the marjoram. Some call for cream rather than milk which, of course, gives you an even richer sauce. Some say the garlic is optional—just about all will be discrete in its use.
In some versions of salsa di noci, the sauce is still rather rough, in others smooth—Le Ricette Regionali Italiane (Solaris) tells you to pass the sauce through a sieve. The sauce is sometimes quite thick, to the point that it’s rather sticky. Other times, as shown here, the salsa di noci is thin enough to “flow”, which is the way I prefer it. I add enough milk so that the Walnut sauce itself is fairly soft, then thin it out further with a bit of cooking water when mixing with the gnocchi. Be careful not to overdo it, or the sauce won’t coat the gnocchi properly.
Going further afield, you’ll find recipes that pair this sauce with Speck, the Tyrolean salumi, diced and mixed in with the gnocchi.
I published the original version of this post in July 2009, only a month after I started blogging. I’ve completely updated and re-edited it for reposting in January 2018.
33 Healthy Slow Cooker Recipes That Basically Make Themselves
Slow Cooker Sesame-Garlic Chicken or Slow Cooker Minestrone Soup?
If you own a slow cooker, then you know by now that it makes your dinners easier. But did you know it can make them healthier, too? These nutrient-dense meals are both healthy and easy, which is a winning combo in our book. To make these healthy slow cooker recipes, you'll need a slow cooker like a Crock-Pot or a multicooker (like an Instant Pot!) to get the job done. Thankfully, The Good Housekeeping Institute rounded up the best slow cookers on the market if you're looking to upgrade your appliance. Newer models offer safety features like auto shut-off and even wifi connectivity so you can switch modes from outside the house. Use your slow cooker to brown meat, simmer soups and stews, cook rice and more. Just set it and forget it, letting the appliance do all the work so you can come home to a hot, ready meal. (Bonus: The whole kitchen will smell amazing!)
If you're trying to eat healthy, a slow cooker can help you reach your goals by making it easier to prepare vegetables, brown rice, beans and lean proteins like chicken and turkey. These recipes emphasize good-for-you ingredients while churning out the warm, comforting meals you've come to expect out of your slow cooker. And if you end up falling in love with your appliance like we did, you can buy the Good Housekeeping Slow Cooker cookbook for even more recipe ideas right here!