Walnut Basil Pesto

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It’s time to start thinking creatively about that great crop of basil you have growing in your garden or herb pot. Or if you don’t have a garden, it’s in abundant supply at your local farmer’s market. This version of pesto — Walnut Basil Pesto — is a popular condiment served at Green Mountain. Very versatile, you can use it to top fish, chicken, tofu, or pork, or use it as a spread in wraps or sandwiches, added to salad dressings or mixed into pasta dishes.

(Makes about ½ cup pesto)

1/4 cup toasted walnuts, cooled
1 1/3 cup packed fresh basil
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 small clove garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 1/2 tablespoons parmesan cheese

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spread walnuts on a baking sheet and bake 8- 9 minutes; cool. Put walnuts in a food processor and pulse until consistency of coarse meal. Add remaining ingredients except parmesan cheese and pulse until coarsely chopped. Add cheese and pulse again just until pesto is
combined. Pesto can be stored in the refrigerator for about a week or in the freezer for several months.