Aug 2, 2010

Basic Basil Pesto

Basic Basil Pesto

From EatingWell: May/June 2008, August/September 2005, The EatingWell Healthy in a Hurry Cookbook (2006) — Subscribe to EatingWell Magazine Today!
Simplicity reigns in this traditional sauce—just basil, garlic, cheese and olive oil. Our one modification? We like omega-3-laden walnuts in the mix for their crunch and delicate flavor, but pine nuts, almonds, pecans or even pistachios may be substituted for the walnuts.

About 1 cup

Active Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes
Nutrition Profile

Low calorie | Low carbohydrate | Low cholesterol | Healthy weight |
View Our Nutrition Guidelines »

* 2 cups packed fresh basil leaves, (2-3 bunches)
* 1/4 cup walnut pieces, toasted (see Tip)
* 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
* 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
* 2 tablespoons water
* 1 large clove garlic, quartered
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

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1. Place basil, walnuts, Parmigiano-Reggiano, oil, water, garlic, salt and pepper in a food processor; pulse a few times, then process until fairly smooth, or to the desired consistency, scraping down the sides occasionally.

Tips & Notes

* Tip: To toast walnuts: Spread on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees F, stirring occasionally, until fragrant and lightly browned, 7 to 9 minutes.


Per 2-tablespoon serving: 83 calories; 8 g fat (1 g sat, 5 g mono); 2 mg cholesterol; 1 g carbohydrates; 2 g protein; 1 g fiber; 176 mg sodium; 104 mg potassium.

Exchanges: 2 fat
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  1. Can pesto be frozen? I'd like to make up a bunch of different kinds to use in winter since some of the ingredients are ready now in my garden. Basil doesn't keep for extended periods once cut.

  2. Hi Sandra
    I just googled this and this is what I found,(herbs and herb mixtures like pesto CAN be safely frozen! Pesto is an uncooked seasoning mixture of herbs, usually including fresh basil, and some oil. It may be frozen for long term storage. That's the recommended method to save your homemade pesto for the dark nights of winter!)

  3. Oh cool! I see basil pesto in my future :-) Thanks Deb, for all your wonderful posts.