Saturday, July 25, 2009

Recipe: Light Basil Pesto

As a Weight Watcher alum, in order to maintain my goal weight I've been searching for "light" recipes that actually have flavor. Additionally, these "light" recipes give me an excuse to splurge when we go to Revolver or Lola Bistro.

Apart from putting this pesto on Buitoni Tortellini, yesterday for lunch, I made a pesto grilled cheese with about 2T of the pesto, 2 thin slices of Mozzarella cheese from Happy Badger's Food Club, and 2 slices of Canadian bacon. Normally my husband is the gourmet sandwich maker, but yesterday I made him jealous.

I got this "Light Basil Pesto" recipe from Cook's Illustrated The Best Light Recipe cookbook.

4 medium garlic cloves, unpeeled
3 cups basil, stems and buds discarded
1/2 c Parmesan cheese, grated
1/4 c part-skim ricotta cheese
1 shallot, minced (or 2T red onion worked fine too)
2T EVOO (Used the Basil EVOO from Olive Tap)
Salt & Pepper

1.) Toast the garlic in a small skillet over medium heat, shaking the pan occasionally, until the color of the cloves deepens slightly, about 7 minutes. Transfer garlic to a plate to cool, then peel the cloves and press through a garlic press.
2.) Place the basil in a heavy-duty gallon-sized zipper-lock bag. Pound the bag with a rolling pin until all the leaves are lightly bruised.
3.) Process the ingredients in a food processor until smooth, about 30 seconds, stopping to scrape the sides as needed. Transfer mixture to a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste. (The pesto can be covered with a sheet of plastic wrap pressed flush against its surface and refrigerated for up to 3 days.)

2 1/2 T = 80 Cal.

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