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Mushroom walnut pesto

January 27, 2012

Update: I initially forgot to list the salt and pepper in this recipe, and it is better with a bit of salt. I have now updated the recipe below.

When Ben found out that he couldn’t have anything with tomato in it, he immediately realized that this meant no pizza, and he was not very happy about this. We don’t have pizza very often, but we do make homemade pizzas once in a while, and it is one of our favorite treats.

It took me a long time, but I have found alternatives to cheese which I love on pizza, and so I decided that we just needed to find something like that for Ben, at least to hold him over during this six week allergen-free trial period. After a lot of thought, it occurred to me that he could eat at least certain types of pesto, and so could I. However, traditional pesto has cheese, which I can’t have, and I didn’t want to risk trying different kinds of nuts since Ben is allergic to lots of them. However, we know that Ben is okay with walnuts, and as far as we know, we are both okay with mushrooms! So…the idea of mushroom walnut pesto was born. 🙂 I did some searching for recipes online and couldn’t find anything that sounded just right, so I decided to create my own. And boy, am I glad I did!

Mushroom walnut pesto

Mushroom walnut pesto


1.5 tbsp olive oil

250 grams (approximately 1/2 lb) fresh chestnut mushrooms

20 grams (very approximately 1/2 cup, heaping) dried porcini mushrooms

1/2 cup (heaping) walnuts

1/8 cup fresh (or frozen – I chop and freeze spices in advance) thyme

1/8 cup fresh (or frozen) rosemary

1 tsp dried basil

1 tsp salt

generous sprinkle of ground black pepper

Note: I had intended to add a shallot, which would probably be very good, but I forgot to add it…and it was so good without the shallot that I don’t know if I would risk adding one!


Place dried porcini mushrooms in a bowl, and cover with warm water for approximately 15 minutes, while you assemble the rest of the ingredients.

Place all ingredients (including the porcini mushrooms but without the water they have been soaking in) in a food processor, and blend until mostly smooth, scraping down the sides as necessary.

When finished, I split the mixture up into eight separate containers (I used reusable mini muffin cups) so that we could use them for various meals in the coming weeks. I put four in the refrigerator, and four in the freezer for later use.

I will tell you very soon what we used this pesto for last night…but I will tell you now that it was delicious! And on the menu for tonight…homemade pizzas!

This was such an easy thing to make, with no cooking or chopping, and I think it will be very useful for making quick, healthy, tasty meals.

Hope you enjoy this as much as we did!

IBS Note: I have decided that I need to back to a much more vegetarian diet, with just occasional meat. I am hoping that having more foods like this pesto on hand will make it easier to customize our meals so that we eat the same basic dinner, but add our own toppings/fillings.

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