Freshly made pesto is a simple recipe made up of just a few ingredients. Both basil and pine nuts each offer nutrional benefits, but that’s not all. Olive oil is in our opinion the healthiest of fats offering many benefits including heart health. Garlic supports your immune system and help keep cholesterol under control. Basil provides antioxidant protecttion and anti-inflammatory effects while pine nuts are a high protein nut that come from pine cones. They are an excellent source of vitamins B1 and B3, manganese, copper, magnesium, molybdenum, and a very good source of zinc. They are also a good source of vitamin B2, vitamin E, and potassium.
Here are 10 great ways to use pesto: How to Use Pesto
2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup pine nuts
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino cheese (see Cook’s note)
Combine the basil, garlic and pine nuts in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Add 1/2 cup of the oil and process until fully incorporated and smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
If using immediately, add all the remaining oil and pulse until smooth. Transfer the pesto to a large serving bowl and mix in the cheese.
If freezing, transfer to an air-tight container and drizzle remaining oil over the top. Freeze for up to three months. Thaw and stir in cheese.
Makes 1 cup.