Spicy Basil Walnut Pesto
4 cups fresh basil + additional ½ cup
2 cups walnuts, toasted
6 dried red chiles
1 1/2 cups extra virgin olive oil, add more if needed
4 cloves garlic
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons raw honey
Prepare a bowl of ice and cold water. In a large saucepan bring water to a boil, quickly blanch basil for 2 seconds and plunge into ice water bath to stop cooking and retain color. Drain basil and pat dry.
In a large iron skillet, heat ½ cup of EVOO over medium heat. Add walnuts, chiles, and garlic and stir to coat mixture evenly with oil. Sauté over heat for 3-4 minutes or until fragrant and add additional ½ cup of basil. Add salt and honey and cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat.
In a food processor puree the blanched basil and walnut mixture with remaining ingredients until smooth. Pesto will keep for up to a week in the refrigerator and up to 6 months in the freezer.