- ¾ cup pine nuts
- 4 cups tightly packed basil leaves
- ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 3 large garlic cloves, minced
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Preheat oven to 350°F. Spread pine nuts on baking sheet. Bake for about 5 minutes; stir. Continue to bake for 10 minutes until nuts are golden brown and highly aromatic, stirring occasionally. Let nuts cool completely; chop finely.
Fill medium-sized heavy saucepan halfway with water. Place over medium heat; bring to a boil. Next to pot, place large bowl filled with water and ice. Using tongs, dip a few basil leaves into boiling water. Blanch for 3 seconds; quickly remove from boiling water and place in ice water. Repeat process until all basil has been blanched, adding ice to water as needed. Drain basil in colander and pat dry with a towel.
In blender or food processor, combine basil, pine nuts, cheese, garlic, salt, pepper, and all but 1 tablespoon olive oil; process until smooth and uniform. Pour into airtight container and add remaining olive oil to top to act as protective barrier. Pesto can be stored in refrigerator for up to 5 days.
To freeze pesto, place it in a tightly sealed container. To freeze small amounts of pesto, pour into ice cube trays and freeze until solid. Once frozen, you can remove the pesto cubes and place them in sealed freezer bags.
YIELDS ABOUT 3 CUPS; SERVING SIZE: 1 TABLESPOON
PER SERVING: Calories: 37 | Protein: 1g | Carbohydrates: 1g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 14mg | Fiber: 0g | PCF Ratio: 10-6-85 | Exchange Approx.: 1 Fat