Sweet Basil Pesto Tapenade

Sometimes by mid-August I get pesto fatigue, and so I didn’t exactly jump up and down when I was given this recipe.  But then I tried it, and loved it.  The recipe is from Jean Matlack, a CSA member who has been with us since year one of the CSA.  She serves it on the organic whole wheat bread from ABC.  

A unique spreadable basil pesto that’s thickened with extra walnuts and lightly sweetened with maple syrup. Instead of putting this on pasta—which can dilute the intense flavors—try this on crusty bread. It is great on pizza too.

3 cups lightly packed basil leaves
1 cup walnut pieces or halves
2-4 cloves garlic (roasted garlic is good but raw garlic is fine, too)
1/3 cup olive oil
¼ cup walnut oil (I just use more olive oil)
¼ cup Maple Syrup or to taste (I use grade B organic from Fresh Off the Farm)
1 teaspoon grated fresh lemon zest
¾ teaspoon salt or to taste
Black Pepper

Chop the basil, walnuts and garlic in a food processor until chunky. Use a rubber spatula to scrape the sides of the processor bowl frequently. Add the oils , maple syrup, and lemon zest and process until thick and creamy. Season with salt and pepper. Store in a glass jar with a thin layer of olive oil on the surface and keep refrigerated until ready to serve. This will keep the color bright.

( I have actually frozen this with success. It can turn dark, but still tastes great.)