Just one of Stan Lester’s walnut orchards in Winters, California.

Walnut trees as far as the eye can see!

Sunbathing walnuts that will be ready to harvest in just a few months.

Todd Ramos, a third generation farmer, husband, father, and our tour guide for the afternoon!

Todd showed us some of the equipment used to harvest the walnuts…

And even showed us what they look like in action!

Lunch time!

If the smell of fresh pastries doesn’t getcha when you walk in the door at Lester’s…

The beautiful sandwiches on homemade walnut bread will!

After touring the Mariani Nut company

And learning how walnuts are shelled, packed, and shipped…

I couldn’t wait to come home and make this super yummy (and easy) pesto packed with walnuts for dinner!

Start by packing 4 cups of fresh spinach and 1/2 cup of raw walnuts into your blender or food processor.

Next throw in a couple cloves of garlic…

A nice big handful of shredded parmesan cheese…

And the juice from half a lemon.

Turn your blender on and stream in about 1/3 cup of olive oil…

Until your pesto is nice and smooth.

Don’t forget to season your pesto with a bit of sea salt!

Mix your pesto with your favorite pasta and serve with your favorite local wine!



  • 4 cups fresh spinach
  • 1/2 cup raw walnuts
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • handful of shredded parmesan cheese
  • juice from 1/2 a lemon
  • 1/3 cup of olive oil
  • salt to taste

4 Responses to Spinach and Walnut Pesto

  1. Mom says:

    What a fun day, I love hearing those stories. Blood, sweat and tears for this passion of farming. I’m a loyal customer of the Mariani products. You did a wonderful job with the photos and recipe babe. XO

  2. Melissa says:

    Thank you mom! You would have loved the tour!

  3. YUM. I want this for dinner, like, every single night. It was so great to meet you!!

  4. Brandon says:

    Love the past shape you used, any shape curly like a pig’s tail is my personal favorite. Gorgeous green, sounds delicious!

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