1/3cupblack walnutstoasted and rubbed in a towel to remove bitter skins
1/2cupvirgin sunflower or extra virgin olive oil
1/4tspfreshly ground pepper
1/2cupgrated grana padano or parmigiano reggiano
Preheat the oven to 350. When it is preheated, put your walnuts in a saute pan or cookie sheet and toast for about 15 minutes, until aromatic and nicely toasted, but not at all black or burnt. Cool the walnuts completely so they do not heat the basil while pureeing in the blender, which will destroy the color.
Bring a couple quarts of water to a boil, salt the water until it tastes like the sea
Pick the basil leaves off of their stems, making sure not to include any hard, woody stem pieces.
Blanch the basil in the boiling salted water until just wilted, then refresh in ice water to cool and preserve the color. Then drain the basil and chop roughly.
In the bowl of a high speed blender or food processor, puree the basil, cheese, nuts and clove of garlic until roughly pureed.
Finally drizzle in the oil slowly until a smooth puree is formed.
Transfer the pesto to a container, such as a tupperware. Press plastic wrap down directly on the surface of the pesto, so that air cannot touch it, Then cover the container with another layer of plastic wrap and refrigerate until needed. The pesto will also keep for months if not years in the freezer as the oil helps to prevent freezer burn, but I doubt it will last that long.