You can use basil pesto for so much more than just pasta. A dollop of it is like flavor magic, instantly transforming everyday ingredients with its herbaceous savory essence. In Cinque Terre, Italy, where they are renowned for their pesto, they serve it spread generously on toast, for example. I can tell you first hand, it is unforgettably delicious that way. I personally always have a batch of pesto on hand–I freeze it in an ice cube tray then store the cubes in a freezer bag so I can grab one to thaw quickly whenever I want a pop of flavor. Click here for several more ideas for how to use pesto.
1/4 cup pine nuts
2 cloves garlic, peeled
3 cups lightly packed fresh basil leaves
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
¼ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Toast the pine nuts in a small, dry skillet over medium heat until fragrant and golden brown, shaking the pan frequently, about 3 minutes
In a food processor, process the pine nuts and garlic together until minced. Add the basil, Parmesan, and lemon juice and process until finely minced. With the machine running, slowly pour the oil in a steady stream through the feed tube and process until well blended. Season with the salt and pepper.
Makes 8 servings, 1 cup
Serving size: 2 tablespoons
Per serving: Calories 170; Total Fat 17g (Mono Fat 10.9g, Poly Fat 2.9g, Sat Fat 2.7g); Protein 2g; Carb 1g; Fiber 0g; Cholesterol 5mg; Sodium 125mg
Excellent source of: Manganese, Vitamin K
Good source of: Vitamin A, Vitamin E
To refrigerate: Place in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
To freeze and thaw: Place the sauce into a sealable plastic bag or pour into ice cube trays and freeze. Once frozen, transfer the cubes of sauce to a sealable plastic freezer bag where it will keep for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator for 18-24 hours. Allow to come to room temperature before serving. Alternatively, Place in a microwave safe dish, cover and microwave on high for about 20 seconds for one portion.