Fresh Basil Pesto

Pesto adds a powerhouse of flavor to any dish. Keep some on hand to toss with pasta, spread on sandwiches, add to salads or top off hot meats or vegetables.

  • Prep Time 10 min
  • Total Time 10 min
  • Servings 10

Ingredients

2
cups firmly packed fresh basil leaves
3/4
cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4
cup pine nuts
1/2
cup olive or vegetable oil
3
cloves garlic
  • 1 In blender or food processor, place all ingredients. Cover and blend on medium speed about 3 minutes, stopping occasionally to scrape sides, until smooth.
  • 2 Use pesto immediately, or cover tightly and refrigerate up to 5 days or freeze up to 1 month (color of pesto will darken as it stands).

Expert Tips

Substitute 1 1/2 cups firmly packed fresh cilantro and 1/2 cup firmly packed fresh parsley for the basil.

Use food processor. Omit basil. Decrease oil to 1/3 cup; add 1/2 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes (undrained).

Substitute 2 cups firmly packed fresh spinach and 1/2 cup firmly packed fresh basil leaves or 1/4 cup dried basil leaves for the fresh basil.

Nutrition Information

NUTRITION INFORMATION PER SERVING

Serving Size: 2 Tablespoons
Calories
160
(
Calories from Fat
130),
% Daily Value
Total Fat
15g
15%
(Saturated Fat
3g,
3%
Trans Fat
0g
0%
),
Cholesterol
5mg
5%;
Sodium
140mg
140%;
Total Carbohydrate
1g
1%
(Dietary Fiber
0g
0%
  Sugars
0g
0%
),
Protein
4g
4%
;
% Daily Value*:
Vitamin A
15%;
Vitamin C
0%;
Calcium
10%;
Iron
4%;
Exchanges:
0 Starch; 0 Fruit; 0 Other Carbohydrate; 0 Skim Milk; 0 Low-Fat Milk; 0 Milk; 1/2 Vegetable; 0 Very Lean Meat; 0 Lean Meat; 0 High-Fat Meat; 3 Fat;
Carbohydrate Choices:
0
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.