The addition lemon juice to pesto was inspired by the lemons grown in the Amalfi Coast region of Italy. Adding lemon juice to the basil before chopping in the food processor ensures it retains a vibrant color as well as adds freshness to the flavor. Roasting the walnuts provides a deep savoriness and helps thicken the pesto. Using the best Parmigiano Reggiano available is a must to create a bold flavor. The pesto is best served the day it is made but can be kept in the refrigerator one day by smoothing the top and covering with a thin layer of olive oil. Serve as a spread or add to cooked pasta.
4 cups basil, packed
1/2 T lemon juice
1/2 c walnuts
2 cloves garlic
1/2 c olive oil
1/2 c Parmigiano Reggiano
1/2 t kosher salt
Generously spray a small skillet with cooking oil. Add walnuts and roast over medium high heat until browned, about 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Place into a bowl and allow to cool prior to using.
Place the basil and lemon juice in a food processor. Pulse blend until basil is coarsely chopped.
Add the walnuts, oil, and garlic. Blend for 3-4 minutes, scraping the bowl several times, until the basil is finely chopped and the mixture begins to form a paste.
Add the Parmigiano Reggiano and salt. Pulse blend until cheese is mixed thoroughly.
Pour into a bowl, immediately cover with plastic wrap and place into the refrigerator. Can be kept for 1 day by smoothing the top and covering with a thin layer of olive oil.