Large Batch Basil Pesto
Written by: Elizabeth Elam MS, RD,LDN
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Makes: 16 servings
Pesto is a versatile sauce made with basil, pine nuts, cheese, oil and garlic; however, a variety of herbs and nuts can be used. It’s a great source of heart healthy, monounsaturated fats and antioxidants. Not only does pesto make a great pasta sauce, but it can be used as a spread on sandwiches, a sauce for meat, tossed into cooked vegetables, grains, or scrambled eggs for added flavor, or made into a simple vinaigrette dressing by adding vinegar.
2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup pine nuts (walnuts can also be used)
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino cheese (parmesan can be also used)
Salt and pepper to taste
- Combine the basil, garlic, and nuts in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Add 1/2 cup of the oil and process until fully incorporated and smooth. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.
- Add the remaining oil and 1/2 cup cheese and pulse until smooth. Use immediately or refrigerate for up to 3 days.
- If freezing, transfer to an ice cube tray and place in the freezer. Once fully frozen, remove pesto cubes from the tray and store in a freezer zip lock bag. Simply remove a cube and thaw when ready to use. Freeze for up to 3 months.
Serving Size: 1 tablespoon
Calories: 97, Fat: 7g, Protein: 1g, Carbohydrates: 0g, Fiber: 0g, Sodium: 45mg