Thursday, May 5, 2011

Red Walnut and Rocket (rucola) Salad, and Red Walnut Pesto

This post comes from the diary of my trip to Austria, where I stayed with Imogen and Günther, who grow walnuts. Walnuts are one of the best nuts I know, and I was surprised to see that Imogen and Günther also have a tree (not commercial) of red walnuts. I have never seen red walnuts before, the shells are normal brown, but the kernels really red! Our hosts gave us some red walnuts, but also some walnut oil. In the photo above you can see the walnut plantation (only one tree produces the red walnuts).

For an easy salad mix the walnuts with rocket, walnut oil, salt, and lemon juice. Quick, healthy and good looking!

I decided to also make a walnut pesto for pasta. Using a mortar and pestle (or food processor if you don't have a mortar and pestle) mush the walnuts (I used the red ones, but you can use normal walnuts) with a peeled garlic clove, then slowly add some walnut oil (or olive oil), and a little salt and pepper to taste.

The pesto was great! I cooked some pasta with rocket (I added the rocket leaves to the pot a few minutes before draining the pasta), and I used the pesto as a sauce. We really liked it and I'll definitely make it again!

Photos and Recipes by Alessandra Zecchini ©


  1. Beautiful salad! Walnuts are my favorite nut; I would love to try the red ones...I've never seen those before. I've got to make some walnut pasta soon...I've made it before, but haven't had it in a looong time..I love it with whole wheat spaghetti.

  2. Red walnuts...never heard of them but they sound wonderful. And, walnut pesto sounds amazing. I will have to try that...YUM!
    Beautiful picture of the walnut grove!
    Have a great weekend!

  3. Lovely looking salad. Red walnuts never heard of I am learning a lot from your recipes.

  4. Nice and healthy food! Looks good!