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Basic Basil Pesto

May/June 2008, August/September 2005, The EatingWell Healthy in a Hurry Cookbook (2006)

Your rating: None Average: 3.8 (75 votes)

Simplicity reigns in this traditional sauce—just basil, garlic, cheese and olive oil. Our one modification? We like omega-3-laden walnuts in the mix for their crunch and delicate flavor, but pine nuts, almonds, pecans or even pistachios may be substituted for the walnuts.



READER'S COMMENT:
"I loved this. It's delicious, and a reasonable amount of calories without less flavor. I'd half the salt and after you mix it see if you want more though, just FYI (the cheese is salty.) "
Basic Basil Pesto Recipe

Makes: About 1 cup

Active Time:

Total Time:

Ingredients

  • 2 cups packed fresh basil leaves, (2-3 bunches)
  • 1/4 cup walnut pieces, toasted (see Tip)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 large clove garlic, quartered
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Preparation

  1. Place basil, walnuts, Parmigiano-Reggiano, oil, water, garlic, salt and pepper in a food processor; pulse a few times, then process until fairly smooth, or to the desired consistency, scraping down the sides occasionally.

Tips & Notes

  • Tip: To toast walnuts: Spread on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees F, stirring occasionally, until fragrant and lightly browned, 7 to 9 minutes.

Nutrition

Per 2-tablespoon serving: 83 calories; 8 g fat (1 g sat, 5 g mono); 2 mg cholesterol; 1 g carbohydrates; 2 g protein; 1 g fiber; 176 mg sodium; 104 mg potassium.

Exchanges: 2 fat



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