Creamy Walnut & Parsley Pesto


Walnut & Parsley Pesto
Originally uploaded by wjharrison77.

Earlier this week a bolshy, fourth year pupil, L, marched up to my desk and demanded to know if the rumours were true. Was I moving school? Was that true? If it was true there was no way that L was going to speak to me ever, ever, ever again. Luckily, the rumours were not true and L and I remain on speaking terms.

I’m not moving school but I am moving classroom. My colleague, Mrs D, is emigrating to Egypt (exciting stuff – though she’s rather regretting calling her son Cairo now) and before the replacement teacher arrives I am going to claim Mrs D’s room. Very excited about this as for the last three years I have been teaching in a room which acts as a corridor to another classroom: a highly annoying situation. Plus, Mrs D’s room is bigger and is not located next to the noisy 4th year common area. Hooray!

So though school breaks up at the end of the month I intend on spending the firsts week of July at work organising my new domain. Might even paint a mural on the wall. Of what I’m not sure. Any ideas will be gratefully received.

Moving on.

Whenever my Mum is in town we go out for a girly lunch together. Our favourite haunt is Contrast, the swanky Glenmoriston’s more affordable brasserie. Located on the banks of the River Ness, beautifully decorated and offering a set two-course lunch for only £5.95 it’s a lovely place for a leisurely meal. The food is very good though perhaps more suited to smaller appetites. I’d never take my partner D there for fear he’d loudly exclaim: “is this it?!”

It was in Contrast that I was absolutely wowed by a pasta dish: tagliatelli in parsley sauce. The dish was incredibly simple and all the better for it. The colour was a vibrant green and it tasted fresh and creamy at the same time. Yum.

Since that day I have been trying and failing and trying and failing to recreate the sauce. My only consolation is that the following recipe was born from one of my failures. In its own right it’s very good too.

The ragged pasta in the photo was an idea I got from “Totally Addicted to Taste”. Simply break dried lasagne sheets into large, irregular pieces and cook as normal.

Creamy Walnut and Parsley Pesto

Small handful of walnuts, bashed
Large handful of parsley
Glug of olive oil
Pinch of salt
Very small clove of garlic, chopped
2 tblspn crème fraiche
Squeeze of Lemon

  • Briefly whiz the walnuts, parsley, oil, salt and garlic in a food processor.
  • Add the crème fraiche and whiz again briefly. Pesto should be lumpy textured (light green with flecks of parsley and nuts) rather than a completely smooth consistency.
  • Add a squeeze of lemon juice. Stir and taste.
  • Happy? Add to freshly cooked pasta and sprinkle with a little chopped parsley and walnuts.

17 thoughts on “Creamy Walnut & Parsley Pesto

  1. When I read the introduction to this recipe, I wondered if “fourth year” there is the same as fourth grade here. I teach fourth grade, which is 9-10 years old here. Great age. More coincidences, I’m also moving classrooms because I’m going to be teaching third grade next year. It sounds like you’re definitely getting a better classroom; I can’t imagine teaching in a room which led to another room.

  2. 4th year in Scotland is 15-16 year olds. What would that be in the US?
    Hugely excited about my new room. I’ve got used to having a room as a corridor but it really will be wonderful to teach in peace!

  3. Oh, completely different numbering system. That age would be about 10th grade (or what’s called “high school” in the U.S. Have fun decorating the new room. When my school ended on June 1, I was so happy to get out of there I promised my friends I would not mention it again until August 15. Then I will start thinking about my new room.

  4. Looks good to me Wendy! I have been doing a pasta with basil pesto and peas with feta and pine nuts. But I am going to try yours for a nice variation! I like your idea with the pasta also. Enjoy your new classroom!

  5. Yum!

    I am glad for the explaination of the jagged pasta, I was looking at the photo curiously and thinking, boy, that is big tagliatelle! What a great idea!

    I am looking forward to seeing the mural!

  6. What an excellent post! I love anything with pesto, so this recipe is a must try for me! :) Oh, do I mention that I love creame fraiche also?

  7. Deb – Let me know what you think of it! I adore peas and will have to try out your suggestion.

    Susan – Thanks, Susan. Since making this pesto I’ve been getting cravings for it too!

    Holler – I liked the pasta idea too. Might try it with fresh lasagne next time.

    Ahn – Thank you for the kind words. :) I always have creme fraiche in my fridge. Love it so much I have to resist adding it to everything!

  8. i’ve cooked baked sring roll (Japanese wrapper)with oven. it worked! i baked it 230℃ 12 minute. i think it was little bit chewyer than deep fried one.

  9. I like the ragged pasta idea – I always end up with awkward amounts of lasagne in a box. And I love all the british dairy products like creme fraiche that seem hard to get in Australia. Good luck with your efforts to recreate your Contrast dish – hope you find lots of other good recipes along the way

  10. Didn’t realise creme fraiche was difficult to get elsewhere. What substitute would be best, I wonder? I suppose any cream would be fine but the sharpness of the creme fraiche is what I love!

  11. Apparently you can make something very similar to creme fraiche by beating together cream and sour cream but I’m not sure on the quantities.

    Just have to add I think this dish looks brilliant. I wouldn’t be complaining if I was served this in a restaurant, it’s so beautifully presented!

  12. Wow — that looks delicious! I’m totally in love with the lasagna noodle idea, too — that’s a great way to use extra noodles when the box has more than you need. Thanks for sharing the recipe (and the creme fraiche idea, which I think is also brilliant)!

  13. Nora B – No probs! Hope you enjoy it. :)

    Inadvertent Gardener – You are very welcome. Thanks for the lavendar idea. I have been raiding my neighbours gardens this afternoon!

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