4
1 rating

Pesto

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.

8
Servings
176
Calories Per Serving

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.

Ingredients

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

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.

Nutritional Facts
Servings8
Calories Per Serving176
Total Fat18g28%
Saturated Fat5g24%
Cholesterol12mg4%
Protein3g6%
Carbs0.9g0.3%
Vitamin A55µg6%
Vitamin C2mg3%
Vitamin E2mg10%
Vitamin K33µg42%
Calcium98mg10%
Fiber0.1g0.5%
Folate (food)5µgN/A
Folate equivalent (total)5µg1%
Iron0.3mg1.9%
Magnesium7mg2%
Monounsaturated11gN/A
Phosphorus56mg8%
Polyunsaturated2gN/A
Potassium31mg1%
Sodium98mg4%
Trans0.1gN/A
Zinc0.3mg1.8%