Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Creamy, Cheesy, Healthy Pesto

Saw this today in the NY Times Recipes for Health column, and after just a few modifications, oh wow is it good!
We have tons of basil in the garden that needs to be harvested so this was perfect timing.
Our basil is spicy, and with the addition of a healthy load of black pepper, so is this creamy pesto.
Because all the creamy agents are fat-free, this stays pretty healthy, and as we learned tonight, is amazing smeared on top of some pan fried tomatoes (which are also exploding from the garden) or really any type of veggie or pasta (shown above with a layered veggie torte) -- highly recommend this one!

4 plump garlic cloves, halved, green shoots removed
3/4 cup fresh basil leaves, packed
1 cup nonfat cottage cheese
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste (I used a good amount of both)
1 tablespoon plain nonfat yogurt (I used Fage 0%)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan

1. Turn on a food processor fitted with the steel blade, and drop in the garlic. When the garlic is chopped and adhering to the sides of the bowl, stop the machine and scrape down the bowl with a spatula. Add the basil, and process until finely chopped. Stop the machine, and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the remaining ingredients, and process until smooth and creamy. Serve with pasta, or as a dip or spread.

Yield: Makes 1 heaped cup (about 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons).
Advance preparation: This will keep for a couple of days in the refrigerator. It will become more pungent, however, and the green will fade.

Nutritional information per 2-tablespoon serving (using fat-free cottage cheese): 43 calories; 2 grams fat; 1 gram saturated fat; 3 milligrams cholesterol; 2 grams carbohydrates; 0 grams dietary fiber; 131 milligrams sodium (does not include salt added during preparation); 4 grams protein

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