If basil is bursting from your garden and you've always wanted to make homemade pesto, but don't love that it can be high in calories (one-quarter-cup serving is 276 calories), here's a lower-cal recipe that delivers all that fresh, sweet basil flavor, but with fewer calories and no cholesterol.
Vegans, Paleo people, and others avoiding dairy, rejoice! This recipe involves no cheese, so you can really savor the deliciously bold basil flavor. This recipe couldn't be easily to whip up, and once you do, use it to top toasted bread or pizza dough instead of tomato sauce. Add it to warm pasta with peas, or stir it into roasted veggies to add to risotto.
Be sure to choose leaves from a basil plant that hasn't yet flowered — the flowers can make the leaves taste bitter.
- 2 cups fresh basil leaves
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/2 cup pine nuts
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Place the basil, garlic, pine nuts, and salt in a food processor, and blend until combined but slightly coarse.
- Add the olive oil, and blend until smooth.
- Use it right away or store it in the fridge (one week) or freezer (up to three months).
Yields about 1 cup of pesto. Below is the nutritional info for 1/4-cup serving.
Source: Calorie King
- North American
- 1 cup; 4 servings
- Total Time
- 10 minutes
- Calories per serving