Sometimes I think of the things I love and the list goes something like this:
1. wasabi flavored seaweed snacks
2. banana republic’s perfect shade of pink
3. Target necklaces
4. my fuzzy slippers
5. pesto from scratch
You know what I don’t love though? The fact that bowl of pesto pasta is, like, four bajillion calories. And while olive oil is definitely a heart healthy fat, sometimes you just need a big bowl of pesto pasta in your life without worrying if you will still be able to fit into your skinny jeans the next day.
(I type this while I sit and stuff salt water taffy after salt water taffy into my mouth)
This oil-free pesto recipe comes from one of my very favorite cookbooks, The Vegetarian Times Cooks Mediterranean. I’ve loved this cookbook for so long that the pages are literally falling out. It’s wonderful.
Anyway, here are the ingredients!
The secret is the white miso!
For those of you who have never dabbled in the world of miso paste, you can find this at your local health food store (or Whole Foods!). It doesn’t make your food taste like miso soup; rather it lends a mellow, almost cheesy flavor. I love it!
The other secret is using super fresh basil!
I was so excited to find organic basil in last week’s CSA bag! Call me crazy, but this basil (that had literally been picked earlier that day) smelled a zillion times better than any basil I’ve ever sniffed at the grocery store. It made my entire house smell amazing! I highly recommend hunting some down at your local farmer’s market for this recipe.
The best part is that this pesto only has about 20 calories per tablespoon. Crazy, huh? It’s great as a sandwich spread and freezes beautifully as well!
makes about 1 cup pesto
from The Vegetarian Times Cooks Mediterranean
2 cups packed basil leaves
1 cup packed chopped parsley
1/4 cup Panko bread crumbs
2 garlic cloves
2 T freshly grated Parmesan cheese
3 T white miso
1/4 cup water (more or less depending on desired consistency)
Blend basil, parsley, garlic, miso, cheese and bread crumbs in either a food processor or high speed blender until smooth. Slowly drizzle in water while machine is running to reach desired consistency.
Spread pesto on sandwiches or use as a pasta sauce. Freeze individual portions in little snack sized sandwich bags for later!