Tip

Presto, Pesto!

by Kate Sherwood

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Four steps to a great pesto: 1. Use intensely flavored ingredients like fresh herbs, roasted nuts, and real parmesan cheese. 2. Never cook it. 3. Thin it with a bit of hot water (or pasta cooking water), if needed. 4. Don’t combine it with the pasta until you’re ready to eat.

And remember: pesto isn’t just for pasta. Try it on chicken, fish, or shrimp, mix it with whole grains, or use it to season salad dressings or jazz up vegetables.

Instructions for all: Put all ingredients into a food processor and pulse until they’re uniformly minced and blended together. Each recipe makes 1½ cups.


Green Olive

  • 1/2 cup unsalted pistachios
  • 1/4 cup pitted green olives
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 Tbs. red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • pinch of red pepper flakes, more to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper

 

PER SERVING (1/4 cup)

  • Calories: 160
  • Total Fat: 15 g
  • Sat Fat: 2 g
  • Protein: 2 g
  • Carbohydrates: 4 g
  • Fiber: 2 g
  • Sodium: 150 mg

Almost Classic Basil 

  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 4 cups basil leaves
  • 4 cups baby spinach leaves
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

 

PER SERVING (1/4 cup)

  • Calories: 170
  • Total Fat: 16 g
  • Sat Fat: 3 g
  • Protein: 3 g
  • Carbohydrates: 4 g
  • Fiber: 2 g
  • Sodium: 190 mg

Roasted Red Pepper 

  • 1/4 cup toasted slivered almonds
  • 1 roasted red pepper
  • 1/4 cup oil-packed sundried tomatoes
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 Tbs. red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

 

PER SERVING (1/4 cup)

  • Calories: 150
  • Total Fat: 15 g
  • Sat Fat: 2 g
  • Protein: 2 g
  • Carbohydrates: 4 g
  • Fiber: 2 g
  • Sodium: 210 mg