This post is sponsored by California Walnuts. All opinions are my own.
It’s hard to believe the holidays are just a few short weeks away. The boys are already writing out their holiday wish lists, while Naomi and I are planning recipes for what will be a different type of gathering this year.
One thing I’ve been thinking about is how to serve our dishes and keep them hot while we’re outside. I don’t have all the details for that worked out just yet, but I do have a few things like this Warm Bean and Walnut Pesto Dip finalized for the menu. This delicious dip serves well at room temperature or chilled.
It’s a versatile recipe that can swing many ways. Serve it with chips, veggies or toasted naan like you see here. If you want to really give it a different spin, try folding in some parmesan and fontina cheese and then bake it in the oven for a hot bean dip. There are so many ways to go with this!
The only thing that shouldn’t be subbed or swapped is the walnut pesto. All the flavor is found in the walnut rippled green streaks. I’m a big fan of using California walnuts in pesto for the flavor and texture, but even more so because walnuts are a nutrition-dense food. Walnuts are a good-fat food that supply a rich source of plant-based omega-3 ALA (2.5 grams/oz). They also offer a good source of protein (4g/oz), fiber (2g/oz) and a good source of magnesium (45mg).
The health benefits of eating walnuts are one of the many reasons there is always a bag in my refrigerator. They work well as a stand-alone snack and are a great addition to so many recipes. If you buy walnuts in bulk like I do, make sure to properly store them to maintain the nutrient integrity and great flavor. Walnuts should be placed in the refrigerator for short term use and in the freezer for long term use.
Of course during this time of year, I keep almost twice the amount of walnuts on hand. It goes in everything from savory to sweet dishes. Don’t be surprised if you see many more walnut-centric recipes in the coming weeks!
- Walnut Pesto
- 3/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
- 2 oz. cilantro
- 2 oz. flat leaf parsley
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped
- 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Bean Dip
- 1 head of garlic
- ¾ cup heavy cream
- ¼ cup chicken broth
- 1 (15-ounce) can cannellini, drained
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- ¾ cup flat-leaf parsley
- 2 tablespoons of lemon juice (about the juice of 1 lemon)
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 3 scallions
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
To make the walnut pesto: Place all the ingredients in a food processor and puree. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
To make bean dip: Bring a saucepan of water to a boil. Add the garlic cloves and boil for 2 minutes. Drain and repeat once more. The idea is to reduce the sharpness of the garlic.
Return garlic to saucepan. Add the beans, cream, chicken broth and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in Worcestershire, using an immersion blender, puree mixture. Or alternately, pour mixture into a blender and process until pureed.
Stir in parsley, lemon juice, lemon zest and scallions.
To serve: Fold in 3/4 cup walnut pesto. Scrape mixture into a
bowl and serve with toasted naan.