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Pesto Three Ways

courtesy of maxliving.com

Pesto is a healthy, feisty food to add to snacks, lunches, or dinners. Here are three ways to try pesto. Choose from basil, arugula, or roasted red pepper pesto depending on your pallet or food you want to go with it.


Basil Pesto

4 cups packed fresh basil leaves, washed well

1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted until golden and cooled (watch closely and stir a few times) or walnuts

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

2 large garlic cloves, minced or pressed

1/4 cup plus 3 tbsps extra virgin olive oil

Sea salt and black pepper to taste

Optional, 1/2 tsp chili powder

Note: For spicy basil pesto add 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper

Arugula Pesto

1 cup arugula (packed)

1/2 cup raw almonds or walnuts

1 tbsp lemon juice

1 tbsp lemon zest

2-3 tbsps olive oil

Sea salt and black pepper to taste

Roasted Red Pepper Pesto or Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto

3 tbsps pine nuts, roasted

2 cups sliced roasted red peppers or 12 sun dried tomatoes, chopped

1/2 cup packed fresh basil leaves

2 cloves garlic

2 tbsps grated Parmesan cheese

2-3 tbsps olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Spicy Option: 1/4 – 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper


Basil Pesto

  • Place the basil in a food processor.

  • Pour in about 1 tablespoon of the oil, and blend basil into a paste.

  • Gradually add pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, garlic, chili powder and crushed red pepper(if using), and remaining oil.

  • Continue to blend until smooth.

Arugula Pesto

  • Place arugula, almonds, lemon juice, lemon zest and 1 tablespoon of the oil in a food processor.

  • Pulse until blended into a paste.

  • Add in the remaining oil, along with the salt and pepper.

Roasted Red Pepper Pesto or Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto

  • Place the pine nuts red peppers, basil, garlic, parmesan cheese and 2 tablespoons of the oil in a food processor.

  • Process until smooth and thick, adding more oil as necessary to create a thick paste.

  • Season to taste with salt and pepper.

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