The Pioneer Woman Tasty Kitchen
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Lighter Basil Pesto

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Level: Easy

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Description

Less fat and oil but without sacrificing the bright and fresh flavor of basil!

Ingredients

  • ¼ cups Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • ¼ cups Low Sodium Chicken Stock
  • ⅓ cups Walnuts, Toasted
  • 2-½ cups Fresh Basil Leaves, Packed
  • 2 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • ¼ cups Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • ¾ teaspoons Black Pepper
  • Kosher Salt To Taste

Preparation

Mix together the oil and stock in a cup, set aside.

Toast the walnuts in a dry skillet (no oil) over medium heat, stirring until just fragrant, about 4 minutes. Be sure to not burn the walnuts or they will be very bitter. Remove pan from heat.

Into the bowl of a food processor, place the basil, garlic, cheese, black pepper and walnuts. Put the lid on and process continuously until a smooth paste forms. With the processor running, drizzle in the oil and stock mixture continuing to process until evenly combined.

Taste, and add salt to taste. You might not need to add any, or maybe just a pinch, due to the saltiness of the cheese and stock.

It might look a little thin at first, but as everything settles, it will thicken slightly.

Toss a few tablespoons with cooked and drained pasta and serve with extra Parmesan cheese.

Store the extra sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. As the sauce becomes more exposed to air, it will oxidize just a little bit.

**If you are harvesting a large batch of home grown basil, or just got a bunch on sale and want to freeze it, just make the pesto without the cheese and pour into ice cube trays. Once it’s frozen, pop them out of the trays and store in Ziplock bags, adding the cheese once it’s thawed and ready to serve.

One Comment

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Profile photo of Patricia @ ButterYum

Patricia @ ButterYum on 1.29.2013

Congrats on your feature! Love the idea of lightening up pesto…. looking forward to trying this!

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