Basil Walnut Pesto Leaves

Basil Walnut Pesto Leaves

“Ugh!” You might exclaim. “Should I mix walnuts and basil and garlic? I’m used to mixing walnuts and honey or fruits, yeah, that sounds fine, but savory walnuts? Yikes!” These were my very own precious thoughts before I stumbled upon one of my “guru’s” recipes, Kimberly Snyder‘s tacos. And even then I was skeptical until I came across Liana Werner-Gray”s recipe for walnut “meat balls.” I was intrigued. Finally, having fried my brain and running out of ideas for easy meals, I gave up and made the basil walnut mixture that I stuffed into romaine hearts and topped, like my guru, Kim, with salsa. I also added a fresh cucumber, for otherwise it would have rotten right before my eyes. 🙂 

So here goes the recipe:
1 head romaine lettuce (wash and divide the leaves)
2 cups of 2-hours-soaked walnuts
3 garlic cloves
coconut aminos (or good quality sea salt and tiny amount of water)
1/2 lime
1/2 bunch basil
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
In the blender, blend the lime juice, coconut aminos, cayenne pepper, & garlic. Then blend in fresh basil. Finally, put the nuts and slowly blend them with the yummy sauce you’ve just made. Done!
Tip- you can add a tiny amount of water to the basil walnut pesto if that will make it easier to blend. It really just depends on your blender, your patience, and your taste buds.
At the end
Put the basil walnut pesto into the romaine leaves and top with salsa. I used Whole Foods’ freshly made one, but if you’re not as lazy as the writer of this blog, you surely can make your own. The main ingredients are diced tomatoes, diced onion, lime juice & cilantro–easy!
And if you have fresh cucumbers laying around, use them, too.
This may look like a light dish, but it actually gives you a lot of energy that should last you for a couple of hours. Nuts digest slowly even when pre-soaked, and are pretty dense, so stay assured you won’t be snacking after having this meal. Oh, and if you want something warm, just warm up the basil walnut pesto a bit in a skillet–do not get the minced beef mess instead! 🙂
Bon appétit!


Karo Caran, the Rainbow Poetess, is a poet and a non/fiction writer. Her novel, "Breaking the silence: A story in paintings" focuses on the censorship of art and gay relationships in the postwar, communist Poland. Her poetry-based memoir, "Life in a Footnotes" will be published this summer.
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