Classic Pesto

Mmmmm… Pesto! I’ve loved pesto ever since trying it at a friend’s house in college. But I never made it myself until a few years ago – mostly because I didn’t have a food processor and I didn’t have tons of basil to use. However, in the last few years, things have changed a bit. I am now the proud owner of a Cuisinart food processor, and I also have basil growing like a weed in my garden! I had no idea that when you plant basil in the garden in San Antonio, it grows up to 4 feet tall and develops a woody stem! So, from about June-October, I always have a never-ending supply of basil!

Since the basil was so abundant, I decided to make a couple of batches for my friends and co-workers. They love getting fresh pesto, and I love having something to do with all of that basil! I even have a friend with a nut allergy, so I make a nut-free version for her (following this recipe, just leaving out the nuts) – and that works great, too! Enjoy!

Classic Pesto
From Cooking Light, Sept 2002
Makes 12 servings

Ingredients:
2 Tbsp chopped walnuts
2 cloves garlic
3 Tbsp olive oil
4 oz basil (weigh before removing the stems)
2 oz freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp table salt

Classic pesto - ingredients

Instructions:
Toast walnuts at 400 degrees for about 5-6 minutes. Watch to make sure they don’t burn!
Classic Pesto - toasted walnuts

Drop nuts and garlic through food chute with food processor on; process until minced. Add oil; pulse 3 times. Add basil, cheese, and salt; process until finely minced, scraping sides of bowl once.
Classic pesto - in food processor Classic pesto - done in food processor bright

Makes 3/4 cup, serving = 1 Tbsp

**Note** This makes a thick pesto. You can thin it with stock (chicken or veggie) or additional olive oil, but I prefer to leave it as-is and then thin individual servings as needed. This freezes well in 1 Tbsp quantities (I use an ice cube tray to portion).

Nutritional info:
Calories 63.2
Total Fat 5.7 g
Cholesterol 3.7 mg
Sodium 136.9 mg
Total Carb 0.9 g
Fiber 0.5 g
Protein 2.4 g

Nutritional info (without nuts):
Calories 54.7
Total Fat 4.9 g
Cholesterol 3.7 mg
Sodium 136.9 mg
Total Carb 0.8 g
Fiber 0.4 g
Protein 2.2 g

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