healthy basil pesto recipe
Ever since I broke up with pasta a few years ago; I’ve not been eating much basil pesto. I tend to exclusively associate the two together, (pasta + pesto) but that’s just silly. Basil pesto is delicious served as a dressing or dip with almost any roasted vegetable you can think of or as a condiment to your lean protein. I especially love it drizzle on top of hard-boiled eggs for a protein based mid-afternoon snack. Use it in place of mayonnaise and you pretty much can’t go wrong.
why it’s healthy
- The extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) in pesto is a superfood; known to contain stronger concentrations of phytonutrients (especially polyphenols) than other grades of olive oil that have well-known anti-inflammatory properties; so be sure to use ‘Extra virgin.” EVOO is also a keystone part of the Mediterranean way of eating and their lower risk of heart disease. EVOO has also been shown to lower blood cholesterol and blood pressure.
- Garlic is rich in a variety of powerful sulfur-containing compounds that have an anti-inflammatory effect and can help dilate blood vessels and help blood pressure under control.Garlic is high in anti-oxidant fighting vitamin C, vitamin B6, selenium, and manganese. Most exciting is garlic’s ability to help control infection by bacteria and viruses, and even other microbes including yeasts and fungi. (source)
This recipe is all about ratios:
4 parts basil to 1 part pine nuts and extra virgin olive oil, plus some minced garlic and sea salt.
I created a recipe card based on how much basil you’ve got on hand to make it really easy to throw together because let’s face it when you have tons of basil in the garden, you want to use it up.
Healthy Basil Pesto Sauce Recipe
you may omit the parmesan cheese if you eat dairy-free. I promise you won't miss it, and the best part is that you get even more fresh basil flavor without it. This recipe multiplies or divides well - see recipe printable for cheat sheet HERE.
- 2 C fresh basil leaves (washed and dried), packed
- 1/2 C pine nuts
- 1/2 C EVOO
- 1/2-1 tsp. sea salt
- 1 clove garlic, peeled
- handful of grated parmesan cheese, to taste
- In the bowl of a food processor, combine nuts, and garlic until finely ground.
- Add the basil and pulse until combined.
- Add EVOO, parmesan, and salt next and mix until emulsified.
- Taste for seasoning and adjust salt if necessary.
- Keep covered in the refrigerator for up to one week.
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