Pesto

Pesto
Staff Writer
Basil

Stock.XCHNG/michaelaw

Basil

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.

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.

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.

Nutrition

Calories per serving:

123 kcal

Daily value:

6%

Servings:

8
  • Carbohydrate, by difference 11 g
  • Protein 6 g
  • Total lipid (fat) 7 g
  • Vitamin A, IU 2713 IU
  • Vitamin A, RAE 152 µg
  • Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid 9 mg
  • Vitamin D 2 IU
  • Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) 1 mg
  • Vitamin K (phylloquinone) 208 µg
  • Ash 2 g
  • Calcium, Ca 229 mg
  • Carotene, beta 1577 µg
  • Cholesterol 11 mg
  • Choline, total 12 mg
  • Cryptoxanthin, beta 23 µg
  • Fatty acids, total monounsaturated 3 g
  • Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated 1 g
  • Fatty acids, total saturated 2 g
  • Fiber, total dietary 1 g
  • Folate, DFE 35 µg
  • Folate, food 35 µg
  • Folate, total 36 µg
  • Glutamic acid 1 g
  • Iron, Fe 2 mg
  • Lutein + zeaxanthin 2825 µg
  • Magnesium, Mg 46 mg
  • Manganese, Mn 1 mg
  • Niacin 1 mg
  • Phosphorus, P 142 mg
  • Potassium, K 202 mg
  • Retinol 20 µg
  • Selenium, Se 2 µg
  • Sodium, Na 324 mg
  • Sugars, total 1 g
  • Tocopherol, gamma 1 mg
  • Water 53 g
  • Zinc, Zn 1 mg
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