There are as many versions of pesto as there are great cooks. My take on pesto is tangy and delicious despite decreasing the amount of pinenuts, Parmesan cheese, and olive oil.
Faced with a pile of basil leaves from my weekly Abundant Harvest organic produce crate, I knew there was pesto in my future. Many pesto recipes are heavy on the nuts, cheese, and especially, the olive oil. Lighter versions often include chicken broth or plain yogurt, but mine gets it's lightness and fresher flavor from lemon juice.
One batch I made coated a pound of pasta perfectly. I used penne pasta and served it with a sprinkle of extra Parmesan. Another batch, as you can see, made a Caprese-style open-face sandwich. It was toasted whole wheat bread spread with a tablespoon of pesto, layered with sliced tomatoes and grated light Mozzarella, then blasted under the broiler to melt the cheese. Yum!
3 cups packed fresh basil leaves
2 ounces pinenuts (about 6 tablespoons)
1 ounce Parmesan cheese (about 1/4 cup)
2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Place basil, pinenuts, Parmesan, garlic, lemon juice, and salt in blender or food processor. Blend or pulse until finely chopped. Drizzle in olive oil while machine is running and process until smooth. If needed, add water a teaspoon at a time to make a smooth but thick mixture. Makes 1 cup. Each 1-tablespoon serving is 1 point plus and 50 calories, and each 2-tablespoon serving is 3 points plus and 99 calories.
Please head over to Lottie Loves, a blog by a domestically creative woman who loves the 1940's and 50's. I was honored to write a guest post for her and enjoyed making recipes from that time.