If you’ve ever made pesto before, you know the process has a lot to do with feel ~ not necessarily measuring. A lot of things are that way in life… feel your way through~
In this case, with an abundance of fresh herbs from the garden, a few handfuls of peppery oregano, a sprig or two of aromatic rosemary and chive, a “cupful” of freshly grated parmesan, and the amazing and interesting addition of black walnuts, sweet and funky fermented black garlic, and Hawaiian black sea salt, the process of approximation resulted in quite an immaculate and exception pesto – presto!
Juglans nigra, the eastern black walnut, is a species of deciduoustree in the walnut family, Juglandaceae, native to eastern North America. It grows mostly in riparian zones, from southern Ontario, west to southeast South Dakota, south to Georgia, northern Florida and southwest to central Texas. Wild trees in the upper Ottawa Valley may be an isolated native population or may have derived from planted trees.
Black walnut is an important tree commercially, as the wood is a deep brown color and easily worked. The fruits, walnuts, are cultivated for their distinctive and desirable taste.
Black garlic is sweet meets savory, a perfect mix of molasses-like richness and tangy garlic undertones. It has a tender, almost jelly-like texture with a melt-in-your-mouth consistency similar to a soft dried fruit. Hard to believe, but true. It’s as delicious as it is unique.
Imagine garlic without all of the annoying stuff. Bad breath? Nope. Pungent odor? Nope. Acrid bite? No sir. You know how a great wine gets better with age? That’s what we’re dealing with here.
In Taoism mythology, black garlic was rumored to grant immortality and it’s loaded with nearly twice as many antioxidants as raw garlic.
Black Hawaiian Sea Salt enhances food with a crisp, bold taste. These salts are harvested from Pacific waters using traditional methods of solar evaporation, allowing the salt crystals to form with the much desired trace minerals intact. The salt obtains its natural and dramatic coloring from activated coconut shell charcoal which is infused with the salt for its numerous health benefits which include antioxidant properties and enhanced digestive health.
Black Oregano Walnut Pesto
2 large handfuls of fresh oregano + a few springs of rosemary and chive
3 oz. freshly grated parmesan cheese (omit and sub 1/4 cup nutritional yeast for a vegan version)
1 heaping cup black walnuts
3 black garlic cloves
1 tsp. black sea salt
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Combine all the ingredients in a food processor and whir until it feels smooth. Adjust as necessary.