God, I love pesto. I mean really, who wouldn’t love a fresh blend of basil, garlic, butter, olive oil and lots o’ cheese? Yum. And ever since my family and I discovered the legendary, irascible Italian chef Marcella Hazan’s “Blender Pesto” (which we blitz in a food processor), we make and enjoy it often. With lots of fresh basil leaves, garlic, butter, olive oil and cheese, this iconic italian sauce is truly addictive but highly caloric, so alas, it must be visited with restraint.
Therefore, I’ve given myself a task this week to develop healthier, but just as tasty, pesto sauces you can make at home. So far, I’ve shared recipes with you for Swiss Chard Pesto and Basil Mint Pesto on A Fork in the Road’s Facebook page.
Why this obsession with pesto? Usually pesto is used as a sauce to coat pastas. But I’m looking for ways to boost the flavors of my dishes without adding a lot of guilt-inducing ingredients. And pesto has so many other uses besides a sauce for pasta. Swirl it into soups and salad dressings, spread it on whole grain toast or crackers, dollop it on proteins like fish, chicken or even lean beef, and mix it into non-fat yogurt for sauces & dips.
So, onto another sturdier pesto:
2 cups cooked broccoli
1 cup fresh basil leaves
2 T freshly grated parmesan
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp pepper
3 T fresh lemon juice
2 T extra virgin olive oil
Place all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and whirl til smooth.
I hope you find many ways to use this recipe and other “flavor boosters” – ENJOY!