This recipe for a Lighter Basil Pesto only lacks in fat and calories, but not in flavor.
The making of Lighter Basil Pesto
Pesto is so versatile. Toss it with some pasta, use it to dress fresh steamed green beans, put it on top of meat, fish, chicken. It simply adds so much freshness. There is no reason at all to buy pre-made pesto which has a tendency to taste "old" and oily when it is so simple to make it yourself in your food processor. 5 minutes, that's all it takes.
Making your own pesto is so easy during the summer months when fresh basil grows readily in the garden. Well, I say readily but over the years I've had little luck getting that "hedge" of basil to grow. BUT there is always some potted basil or a big box of fresh basil available at most all grocery stores or farmer's markets during the spring and summer.
Pesto also freezes well, so if you have any leftover simply pop some into an ice cube tray. Once frozen, remove the cubes and keep it in the freezer in a zip-top bag. Defrost and use as needed.
Your average store-bought pesto or pesto recipe runs about 230 calories PER tablespoon. This Lighter Basil Pesto, that is, lighter in calories, not in flavor; using fewer pine nuts and less oil is about 132 calories PER 2 (that's two) tablespoons.
Another good reason to "make it yourself"!
Lighter Basil Pesto
- 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
- 3 large garlic cloves peeled
- 2 ¾ cups loosely packed basil leaves; washed and well dried
- 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 3 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- With the motor running; drop the pine nuts and garlic through the food chute of a food processor; process until minced, stopping to scrape the sides of the bowl as necessary. Stop the machine; add the basil, cheese, and lemon juice; process until finely minced; using on/off pulses. With the motor on, slowly pour the olive oil through the food chute and process until well blended. Makes about ½ cup.