Saveur (August 2011)
As people who have grown basil for the past five or so years, we are well accustomed to making pesto.
Ours has typically been the basil + Parmesan + pine nut + garlic + olive oil variety.
But honestly, we've found pine nuts a little unnerving since reading stories like this one. Plus, they're expensive. The combination of shadiness plus cost easily pushes them down our list of ingredients.
So we were eager to try this take on walnut pesto from Saveur.
Saveur's August issue is a virtual love letter to pesto. It includes at least a dozen takes on the sauce and reading it we learned a new word: "Ligurian." (Example use: "Jersey Shore is soooooo Ligurian this season.")
We've previously made pesto using walnuts, but we found this to be just about the best pesto that's ever come out of our kitchen. We think it's because of the sundried tomatoes, which add a hint of sweetness.
Rather than serving this over pasta, we opted to serve it on top of grilled flank steak. We loved this combination: charred, medium-rare beef with a bright, savory pesto.
Once the steak was gone, the sauce didn't stand a chance. Trust us when we tell you: It's delicious on its own, by the spoonful.
We look forward to eating this pesto again, maybe over some pasta.
Grilled Flank Steak with Walnut Pesto
A Bitten Word recipe
Prepare Saveur's walnut pesto (recipe below).
In a small bowl, whisk together 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce, 3 tablespoons brown sugar, and 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce (optional). In a glass bowl or baking dish, pour the mixture over a flank steak (we purchase a half pound per person). Let steak marinate for 30 minutes, turning once.
On a hot grill, cook steak over high heat, 3 to 4 minutes on each side for medium-rare. When steak has reached desired doneness, remove from heat and allow to cool for several minutes. Slice the steak against the grain in 1/2-inch-thick slices. Plate and top with pesto.
Makes about 1 1/2 cups
- 1 1/2 cups packed basil
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/3 cup toasted walnuts
- 1/4 cup finely grated pecorino
- 1/4 cup finely grated parmesan
- 2 sun-dried tomatoes in oil, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Process basil, oil, walnuts, pecorino, parmesan, tomatoes, and garlic in a food processor until finely chopped; season with salt and pepper.