Parsley Pesto

Basil season is over, at least here in Maryland. Unless you have a pot of it indoors, you are not going to be harvesting anymore of this herb once the heat of summer has past. Parsley, however, is quite a bit tougher than basil. My abundant crop is still looking good, even after a few very cold nights and one frost.

If you don't have any parsley, you could substitute fresh spinach or kale to make this pesto. You won't get the same flavor or the exact same nutrients, though. On the positive side, fresh parsley is available year-round in every grocery store so I doubt you'll have trouble finding some.

Parsley is one of those basics, like salt and pepper, that can add flavor to almost any recipe. I've been spreading my parsley pesto on sandwiches, topping various kinds of salads, and it would be awesome stirred into hot or cold soups as well.

In addition to being delicious, parsley is a nutritional heavyweight. It ranks up there with other superfoods as high in chlorophyll, Vitamin K, C, and A, folate, magnesium, calcium, iron, and numerous antioxidants. Parsley has been shown to inhibit the growth of tumors, especially in the lungs, and may protect cells from cancerous growth due to toxic chemicals. Pretty awesome for one little herb.


1 large bunch Italian flat leaf parsley (You can also use curly, but I prefer flat.)
1/4-1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (I use as much as it takes to make a thick paste.)
1 cup raw walnuts (pine nuts would be delicious also)
1/2 cup raw pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
3-4 cloves garlic
salt and pepper, to taste

Throw walnuts and pepitas into food processor and pulse until finely ground. Add garlic and pulse some more. Add parsley and drizzle olive oil over the top. Pulse until everything is finely minced and blended into a thick paste. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

NOTE: You can also add parmesan cheese to this pesto if you like. I prefer to keep the cheese separate, and add it only to the dishes which call for cheese. Some people might think this is crazy, and believe EVERY dish calls for cheese. Follow your heart.