Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Low-Fat Basil Pesto

Here's a great way to use up that bush of basil in your back yard before the frost gets it. I found this recipe last year in Cook's Illustrated "The Best Light Recipe" cook book. It freezes beautifully.
How did those chefs at Cook's Illustrated lighten up fattening pesto? They eliminated pine nuts and replaced most of the olive oil used in traditional pesto with part-skim ricotta cheese. Sounds a little strange, but it tastes great. Try it!

4 medium garlic cloves, unpeeled
3 cups fresh basil
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
1 shallot, minced
2 tblsp extra-virgin olive oil
salt and pepper

1. Toast the garlic in a small skillet over medium heat, shaking the pan occasionally, untilthe color of the cloves deepens slightly, about seven minutes. Transfer the garlic to a plate to cool, then peel the cloves and chop or press through a garlic press.

2. Place the basil in a heavy-duty gallon-sized zipper-lock bag. Pount the bag with the flat side of a meat poinder or rolling pin until all the leaves are lightly bruised.

3. Process the garlic, basil, parmesan, ricotta, shallot, oil and 1/2 tsp salt in a food processor until smooth, about 30 seconds, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Transfer the mixture to a small bowl, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Per 2 1/2-tblsp serving: Cal 80; Fat 6 g; Sat Fat 1.5 g; Chol 5 mg; Carb 2 g; Protein 3 g; Fiber 1 g; Sodium 270 mg


Wayfaring Wanderer said...

I know it probably tastes good - I love pesto......but sheez that stuff 'looks' unappetizing! haha

Cookie said...

I love pesto too! But it is definitely hard to get past the lovely shade of neon green!

How did it going selling your old stuff? I'm thinking about giving it a try soon too.

Kathleen said...

looks yummy, will have to give it a go sometime

Maria said...

I will have to try this one. We love pesto but Daniel can't do the pine nuts.

EatPlayLove said...

I am a huge fan of cooks illustrated. thanks for sharing.

Memarie Lane said...

Yummy, I love pesto!

The Cole Mine said...

Mmmm....I'll be trying this one! Love pesto!