I have begun to pack up the kitchen. Some of it is easy to set aside for a while. The waffle maker, the cookie cutters, the cake rings, the chinois, the Bundt pans, the brioche molds, the rectangular tart pan, the coffee urn, the ramekins, the pots de creme jars, and about two-thirds of the barware have all gone into boxes. And despite my affection for those things, I have yet to find myself reaching for them in my ordinary day-to-day routine.
But those are special occasion kinds of equipment. They are not the skillets and saucepans and spatulas and mixing bowls and knives and cutting boards that I seem to dirty and wash for nearly every meal.
I’ve had to prioritize as I’ve tried to pack a box or two each day while keeping them liftable and the apartment livable (and showable…anyone in Chicago looking for a two bedroom apartment in Andersonville available November 1?). I debated over the pressure cooker and decided to pack it. When it came to the food processor, I decided to keep it out a while longer.
A big reason for needing access to the food processor was this pesto. When most people think of pesto, they usually think basil. And there’s nothing wrong with that. I have made and eaten plenty of basil pesto and will undoubtedly continue to do so. But plenty of other herbs can shine when crushed and mixed with nuts and cheese and olive oil. Lately, I’ve been enamored with a pesto made with dill and flat leaf parsley.
It tastes incredibly bright and green. All that herbaceousness is tempered with toasted walnuts, a smattering of pecorino romano, and a healthy drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. I’ve been slathering this stuff on usual suspects like pasta, but I’ve also been tossing roasted potatoes in it, topping frittatas with it, and spreading it on toast.
It would be a great sauce for fish or seafood or spread for a tomato sandwich. I’m also convinced it would, with the addition of some tomatoes and perhaps some cucumbers, make a great topping for quinoa cakes.
It comes together in minutes and keeps for a couple of weeks. I’ve been keeping a jar of this around in the refrigerator so that I have an easy solution to the question of how to get some kind of fresh and delicious meal together when I’m more concerned keeping the kitchen easy to clean before a potential tenant comes over than I am in spending a leisurely hour puttering around the stove.
Maybe now that I have another batch of it, I can pack that food processor tomorrow.
Dill, Parsley and Walnut Pesto
- 5 ounces walnuts, toasted (140 grams, 1 1/2 cups)
- 1 large bunch dill (about 1 1/2 to 2 cups packed)
- 1 large bunch flat leaf parsley (about 2 to 2 1/2 cups packed)
- 1 clove garlic
- 3/4 ounce finely grated pecorino romano (21 grams, 3/4 cup)
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (118 ml)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- In the bowl of a food processor, add the walnuts and pulse until they are ground into fine crumbs. Transfer them to a bowl.
- Wash the dill and parsley in cold water and shake dry (or pat dry on paper towels). Trim off the thick stems below the leafy part of the herbs. Don’t worry about the thinner stems–they’ll be fine after a whirl in the food processor.
- Add the garlic to the food processor, pulse until it’s in small bits. Add the dill and parsley and pulse until the leaves are minced. Add the ground walnuts, the pecorino romano, and salt, and pulse a few times to mix. Add the extra virgin olive oil and pulse until blended.
- Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.