Thursday, February 13, 2014

How to Whip Up Winter Walnut and Spinach Pesto @lucyburdette

 LUCY BURDETTE: The week after a book is launched is so special--and so busy! It's a nice time because nothing definite has happened yet in terms of sales and reviews--so anything is possible. But there are blog posts to be written and commented upon and people to thank and parties to clean up from--not to mention another book to be written. And yet, a writer and her family and friends have to eat! And yet it's wintertime, even in Key West, so vegetables are not at their best. If you have the ingredients on hand, this is a super fast meal that can be on the table in 30 minutes and look as if you've been cooking all day. I served it with a mixed green salad with winter radishes and some cherry tomatoes. Three of us ate every bite and marveled at how good it was:). Possibly even the best pesto I've made--my husband surmised that the addition of the spinach toned the sharpness of the basil down just enough.


2 large sprigs basil, about 10 leaves
1 large garlic clove
3 oz spinach
3 oz walnuts
3-4 oz good quality Parmesan
1/4 to 1/2 cup olive oil
In a food processor, whir the garlic for 30 seconds, then add the walnuts and Parmesan in succession. Add the basil and spinach and process until almost smooth. Pour in olive oil, continuing to pulse until it's the right consistency. Salt and pepper to taste. 
Cook 3/4 of a pound of good quality Italian pasta until al dente (just soft.) (I have gotten addicted to the pasta sold at Eataly in New York City. You can buy their products online. Yes, the pasta is three times as expensive as supermarket spaghetti, but it is honestly light years better.) 

Add the pesto to the pasta in a large bowl and mix thoroughly. That's it!


And thank you to all the readers from Mystery Lovers kitchen--and to my fellow cook/writers who've been so supportive! Could not do this without you...

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And you can buy the book wherever books are sold.


  1. I swear, I'm thinking of tearing up half my lawn (which is pathetic anyway) and planting a basil field. Love pesto! And the walnut flavor must be interesting.

    1. Half a lawn would be a lot of pesto Sheila! But a big garden, yes!

  2. I usually use walnuts in pesto because pine nuts are so much more expensive.
    This sounds like a great blast of freshness in the middle of winter.

    1. I know pine nuts are soooo pricy. And I don't like it when I find out they've come from China either...

  3. My grandparents' house and entire yard always smelled of basil! This looks so easy and quick--hubby loves pesto and in the middle of all this ice and snow it would be a treat!

    1. what a great memory Peg! hope he likes it--definitely a little blast of summer:)

  4. Hi, Lucy, congrats on your latest launch!!! It's on my TBR pile. :) By the way, I can't eat walnuts. Allergic to tree nuts. Do you think I could use pine nuts for this?

    Daryl / Avery

    1. Thanks Daryl! Same back at you:). I'm sure you could use pine nuts in this...

  5. What a lovely fresh and healthy recipe, Roberta/Lucy! I can taste it from here and it's very pretty too.

    Must. Make. Now.

    Congrats on Ganache!



  6. Happy 2nd Week of Release, Lucy/Roberta -- love this for a winter recipe. We're being hit right now with a combo of freezing rain and wet snow. I like your combo much better: fragrant basil and crunchy walnuts in a beautiful green pesto that will certainly help us dream of spring.

    ~ Cleo

    1. Oh that sounds dreadful Cleo! Spring will come though, I'm sure of it:). and thanks! xo