Basil Pesto

Basil Pesto
Staff Writer
Basil Pesto

Viviane Bauquet Farre

Basil Pesto

Here's a classic basil sauce that won't turn brown the minute you toss it with hot pasta! The trick: Blanching the basil before making the pesto.

You may think that blanching the basil will take away some of its spunk, but be assured that it doesn't. Indeed, the technique won't take an ounce of flavor out of the aromatic leaves.

This extra step only adds a few minutes to the preparation of your pesto, but it'll give you a bright green sauce that will make all your favorite pesto dishes look as good as they taste.

16
Servings
126
Calories Per Serving
Deliver Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2  Teaspoons  sea salt
  • 4  Ounces  basil, stemmed
  • 1/3  Cup  freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Grana Padano
  • large clove garlic, peeled
  • 3  Tablespoons  pine nuts
  • 1/2  Cup  extra-virgin olive oil

Directions

Fill a large bowl with cold water and several ice cubes. Set aside. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add 2 teaspoons of the salt and the basil leaves and blanch for 15 seconds. Immediately remove the leaves from the boiling water and place in the ice water bath. Once cooled (this only takes a few seconds), drain. Squeeze the leaves to remove all excess water, and lay them on a paper towel.

Using scissors, cut the basil into 1-inch pieces. Place the basil and remaining ingredients in the bowl of a food processor. Process until it forms a creamy paste, scraping the sides of the bowl once or twice, for about 1-2 minutes. Transfer to a container. Use right away, refrigerate for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 1 month.

Nutritional Facts

Total Fat
12g
17%
Sugar
2g
2%
Saturated Fat
2g
8%
Carbohydrate, by difference
5g
4%
Protein
1g
2%
Vitamin A, RAE
5µg
1%
Vitamin K (phylloquinone)
15µg
17%
Calcium, Ca
22mg
2%
Fiber, total dietary
1g
4%
Folate, total
6µg
2%
Magnesium, Mg
11mg
3%
Phosphorus, P
24mg
3%
Sodium, Na
63mg
4%
Water
3g
0%

Basil Pesto Shopping Tip

Italian food is about simplicity and letting the ingredients shine. So make sure you get ingredients that are great quality and flavor. Farmers markets and specialty stores will have great produce and products. Just be sure to have some great olive oil.

Basil Pesto Cooking Tip

Unlike other highly regarded cuisines, Italian cooking is usually simple to make with many dishes having only 4 to 8 ingredients. Italian cooks rely chiefly on the quality of the ingredients rather than on elaborate preparation.