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Fresh & Flavorful Pesto Recipes

Updated on March 8, 2011

Basic Basil Pesto

Ingredients

  • 2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup toasted walnuts
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp fresh ground black pepper

Instructions

Add all ingredients to food processor or blender, pulse to chop up large pieces, then blend until smooth, scraping down sides of container to ensure even consistency.

Mint Pesto

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups packed fresh basil leaves
  • 3/4 cups packed fresh mint leaves
  • 1/4 cup toasted sliced almonds
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp lemon zest
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Instructions

Place all ingredients in food processor or blender, pulse to break up large chunks, then blend until smooth, periodically scraping down sides of container to ensure even consistency.

Goat Cheese Pesto

Ingredients

  • 4 oz soft goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1 cup packed flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • ½ cup packed fresh oregano leaves
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • ½ tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Instructions

Add all ingredients to food processor or blender. Pulse a few times to break up chunks, then blend until smooth, periodically scraping down sides of container to ensure even consistency.

Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto

Ingredients

  • 2 heads garlic
  • 12 sun-dried tomato halves
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 1/4 cup grated Asiago cheese
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp red wine vinegar
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Instructions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Slice the top off each head of garlic to expose cloves. Wrap in foil and roast in oven 45 minutes or until soft. Open foil packet and let stand to cool. Place sun-dried tomatoes in medium bowl, cover with boiling water and let soak 20 minutes to soften. Drain, all except 6 Tbsp of liquid, and transfer to food processor or blender. Add remaining ingredients, squeezing in the roasted garlic. Pulse to combine, then blend until smooth, scraping down the sides of the container periodically to ensure even consistency.

Chile Pesto

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 4 dried red chiles, stemmed and seeded
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup toasted pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp salt

Instructions

Spray nonstick skillet with zero-calorie cooking spray and cook onion over medium heat until tender. Add garlic, stirring. Break chiles into large pieces and add to skillet, cooking for 30 seconds. Pour in water and turn off heat. When water stops bubbling, pour into small bowl and set aside 20 minutes until chiles soften. Pour into food processor or blender, add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth, scraping down sides of container periodically to ensure even consistency.

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