is pine nuts really necessary to make pesto? does it really affect the flavor much? what do I need?!

Question: Is pine nuts really necessary to make pesto? does it really affect the flavor much? what do I need?

No they're not, but when their toasted it adds a nice flavor to the pesto. Just omit the Pine Nuts in your recipe. You can sub Walnuts

Fresh Basil Pesto Recipe


* 2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
* 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan-Reggiano or Romano cheese
* 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
* 1/3 cup pine nuts or walnuts
* 3 medium sized garlic cloves, minced
* Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

* Special equipment needed: A food processor


1 Combine the basil in with the pine nuts, pulse a few times in a food processor. (If you are using walnuts instead of pine nuts and they are not already chopped, pulse them a few times first, before adding the basil.) Add the garlic, pulse a few times more.

2 Slowly add the olive oil in a constant stream while the food processor is on. Stop to scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula. Add the grated cheese and pulse again until blended. Add a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Makes 1 cup.

Serve with pasta, or over baked potatoes, or spread over toasted baguette slices.

they really are important, yes the taste is unique, why the hassle getting pine nuts? Pignoli taste lovely. the taste is pale, creamy, very unique. Use a nut or seed, but it won't be normal pesto. Maybe that doesn't matter?

If you toast them first they will add a lot of flavor. If you don't they won't.

You can substitute just about any nut to lower the cost. Try toasted almonds or walnuts,

almonds are an excellent alternative. Two people in my family are severely allergic to pine nuts so whenever I make pesto it's with almonds. Excellent...

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