The farmers markets in Monterey overflow with freshly picked almonds and walnuts in the summer, and I’ve been making pestos, nut butters, dressings, and smoothies with them all summer long. This pesto made enough to make a big batch of pesto rice, then I used the rest to make a pesto pasta with tomatoes and grilled chicken when we had friends over for dinner.
WALNUT PESTO RICE BOWLS
1 1/2 cups walnuts
1 cup wild or brown rice
3 ounces parmesan
2 cups basil leaves
red pepper flakes
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
toast walnuts on 375F for 15 to 20 minutes, until deeply toasted. meanwhile, cook wild or brown rice using your fave method (i used my mealthy multipot).
to make the pesto: pulse parmesan, 1 cup toasted walnuts, basil leaves, juice and zest from half the lemon, a pinch of salt, a pinch of red pepper flakes until a thick paste forms. with the motor running, drizzle in extra-virgin olive oil until it's the consistency you like your pesto (i use about 1/3 cup). season with more salt or lemon juice if needed.
stir 1/3 to 1/2 cup pesto into the rice. divide rice between 2 or 3 bowls and top with roasted or raw veggies, fried or poached eggs, grilled chicken, steak, whatever your heart desires. sprinkle the remaining toasted walnuts on top for crunch!