Pesto

Basil
Stock.XCHNG/michaelaw

Ingredients

  • 2 Cups  moderately well-packed fresh basil leaves (about 1 bunch basil), stemmed
  • 1/2 Cup  olive oil
  • cloves garlic
  • 1/2 Cup  grated Parmesan
  • 2 Tablespoons  butter, softened

This Italian basil and garlic sauce is one of the greatest delicacies of all time. It is most often used as a sauce for pasta, but my favorite way to savor it is to spread it on lightly toasted French bread and eat it as an appetizer. Traditionally it is pounded in a mortar, but this blender method works just as well and it is a lot quicker. Many contemporary recipes call for the addition of pine nuts, but I find them superfluous and indistinguishable in pesto. The addition of butter, however, is pure magic.

Directions

Put the basil, olive oil, and garlic in the container of a blender or food processor and purée until smooth. Turn off the machine and scrape down the sides as necessary.

Pour this mixture into a container and stir in the cheese. Stir in the soft butter and chill until ready to use. (The secret of a smooth pesto is to stir in the cheese and butter by hand — not machine.)

If you are going to use the pesto on pasta, then thin the pesto with a few tablespoons of boiling pasta water just before saucing the pasta. Pesto will keep for 1 month if covered with ¼ inch of olive oil and stored in the refrigerator.

Notes

Note: To prepare pesto for freezing, don't add the cheese or butter. Freeze the basil, olive oil, and garlic purée in a tightly covered container for up to 6 months. Alternatively, freeze in ice cube trays, then place the cubes in a Ziploc bag. When ready to use, thoroughly defrost, then stir in the cheese and butter.

Nutrition

Calories per serving:

177 calories

Dietary restrictions:

Low Carb, Low Sodium Sugar Conscious, Low Potassium, Kidney Friendly, Vegetarian, Gluten Free, Wheat Free, Egg Free, Peanut Free, Tree Nut Free, Soy Free, Fish Free, Shellfish Free, Alcohol Free, No Sugar Added

Daily value:

9%

Servings:

8
  • Fat 146g 225%
  • Carbs 8g 3%
  • Saturated 39g 194%
  • Fiber 2g 6%
  • Trans 1g
  • Sugars 1g
  • Monounsaturated 89g
  • Polyunsaturated 13g
  • Protein 24g 48%
  • Cholesterol 99mg 33%
  • Sodium 788mg 33%
  • Calcium 847mg 85%
  • Magnesium 82mg 20%
  • Potassium 355mg 10%
  • Iron 4mg 22%
  • Zinc 2mg 16%
  • Phosphorus 464mg 66%
  • Vitamin A 532µg 59%
  • Vitamin C 19mg 31%
  • Thiamin (B1) 0mg 5%
  • Riboflavin (B2) 0mg 16%
  • Niacin (B3) 1mg 5%
  • Vitamin B6 0mg 17%
  • Folic Acid (B9) 62µg 16%
  • Vitamin B12 1µg 12%
  • Vitamin D 1µg 0%
  • Vitamin E 17mg 85%
  • Vitamin K 415µg 519%
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