Sunday, March 27, 2011

Basil Pesto

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Pesto is such an easy and versatile sauce.  I usually make a big bowl of it and use it as a sauce, marinade, and a salad dressing base.

The only down side about pesto is that it can be quite pricey.  As an alternative, I often use walnuts or almonds instead of pine nuts.  Since I buy my other nuts in bulk, the cost is much more affordable and the flavor and nutritional elements still fantastic!

This week, I made a basil pesto:

Ingredients / Directions:

  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan-Reggiano or Romano cheese
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts / walnuts / almonds
  • 2-3 garlic cloves
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Pulse in a food processor until well blended.

marinated pesto chicken & pasta:

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To make it into a dressing, I whip the pesto with Dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, and stream in more extra virgin olive oil.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Divine!

pesto salad dressing:

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couscous with asparagus, red pepper, & basil pesto:

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