Simple Easy Basil Pine Nut Pesto Recipe

Basil & parsley, toasted pine nuts & garlic, olive oil, & lemon juice

Basil Pine Nut Pesto

This cheeseless pesto recipe is the best I've ever had. And addictive. For parmesan lovers, here's our classic pesto recipe - also excellent!

Besides being an ideal pasta sauce, pesto is delish with hummus in a sandwich or wrap, combined with a bit of vegan mayo or sour cream as a dip, spread on crackers, thinned with a little oil and lemon as a dressing, spread on a hot baked potato, etc.

Total prep & cook time: 35 min

6 Servings

Nutrition Data Per Serving, 18g: 142 calories, 129 cal. from fat, 2g carbs, 15g fat, 148mg sodium, 0g sugars, 1g fiber, 1g protein, very low Cholesterol, good source Vit. K, Manganese, 14%DV Vitamin C, 10% DV Vitamin A. Estimated glycemic load: 0.

Vegan Pesto Ingredients

  • 3 cups basil leaves, loosely packed
  • 1 cup parsley leaves, loosely packed
  • 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh garlic (4 - 6 cloves)
  • 1 cup toasted pine nuts (or walnuts if you'd rather)
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (2 or 3 lemons)
  • 1 tsp fresh ground black pepper or to taste
  • 1 tsp salt or to taste

Pesto Directions:

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  • Heat the olive oil on low in a small frying pan for 10 minutes
  • Peel, stem and coarsely chop the garlic
  • Add the garlic to the oil, and lightly brown
  • Lightly toast pine nuts in a large fry pan on medium-low heat. Stir, and watch carefully to make sure they don't get too brown. Remove from pan and set aside to cool when done
  • Squeeze the lemons and strain the juice
  • Wash the basil and parsley, shake in a colander, strainer or old dish towel to get rid of excess water
  • Pull the basil and parsley leaves off the stems, add to a measuring cup until you have 3 cups of basil and 1 cup of parsley, loosely packed
  • Add oil, lemon, garlic, salt, pepper to the blender scraping out all the oil from the pan with a spatula
  • Blend until smooth
  • Keep the blender running on low, add the parsley and basil a handful at a time, blending coarsely
  • Add pine nuts 1/4 cup at a time, and blend. Add more olive oil & lemon if it gets too thick to blend well. Taste and blend in more salt and pepper if you like
  • Use the spatula to get all the pesto out of the blender, into a bowl or storage container
  • Using a blender stick: Make sure you have a large, deep container so you don't spatter pesto everywhere! Blend the oil, lemon & garlic. Chop the basil and parsley, then add to the liquid in stages, and blend. Then add the pine nuts, salt & pepper, and blend
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Helpful Pesto Hints

To make pesto, you'll need: small fry pan, blender or blender stick, colander or large strainer, rubber spatula, container with lid to store the pesto, and LOTS of basil.

Makes about 2 cups: Pesto keeps well tightly covered in the fridge, and it freezes well.

If you don't grow basil, the large quantity required for pesto can often be found at farmers markets, or in a friends garden. For a pesto addict, all basil growers are your best friends!

Fresh herbs, especially basil, aren't Good Keepers - the least time between picking and pestoing, the better

Pine nuts can be expensive, but much cheaper walnuts work well in pesto. It's best to soak them overnight to soften and remove the bitter after taste and dark color

To freeze pesto, coat with a little oil to preserve the color, or freeze in a vacuum sealed freezer bag.

When you add pesto to hot pasta, oil the pasta first, or thin the pesto with some of the cooking water.

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