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Recipe: Low-Sodium Classic Pesto

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This tasty low-sodium can be a great alternative to high-fat, high-sodium dressings and sauces. Use on pasta, bread, vegetables and as a topping to broiled fish and chicken. You can also mix it into salad dressings, soups, dips and spreads to add tons of flavor.

You can freeze this recipe, minus the cheese, and with a bit less oil, in ice cube trays. Add a bit of lemon juice to keep the bright green color.

Makes about 1 ½ cups, or 12 two-tablespoon servings.

3 c. fresh basil leaves, loosely packed
3-5 cloves
4 T. pine nuts or walnuts
4 T. grated Parmesan cheese
2 T. grated Pecorino or Romano cheese
1/3 c. extra virgin
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Lemon juice to retain color (optional)
For a creamy sauce, add 2-4 T. heavy cream (optional)

•    Combine all the dry ingredients in a food processor, and process until relatively smooth.
•    Add the oil in a thin stream until blended. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
•    Use generously on anything edible!

Nutritional Information per Serving: (2 T.)  83 calories, 1.5 g protein, 1.1 g carbohydrates, 8.3 g fat (1.4 g saturated), 2.3  mg cholesterol, .6 g fiber, 36 mg sodium.


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Article updated on: March 25th, 2012

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  1. [...] for the headiest basil dish ever, enjoy the classic, pesto. During the summer, when basil is available in abundance, is a great time to whip up some fresh [...]