Pesto is magnificent, isn’t it?  Some folks are staunch supporters of pesto being a sauce, while others say it’s a dip.  Why not both?  Let’s not be rigid ‘Pestonites’, OK?  Its flavor profile is well-rounded and satisfying.  This perfectly balanced creamy pesto recipe is versatile – yielding both saucy and dippy qualities. Basil, garlic, and pine nuts are nutritious ingredients to a delectable sauce.  This pesto feels indulgent and, oh-so-right!   You work hard, you deserve this.  And…Jenny’s organic full-spectrum hemp-infused olive oil will let your moment of self-care linger.

Pine nuts add body to the sauce while giving a creaminess.  Parmesan brings the salt and a slight pungent factor.  Basil, the crucial element, gives a fragrant, spicy, and refreshing component.

Basil is considered to have potent antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.  It is rich in antioxidants.  Antioxidants help prevent or slow cellular damage.  Basil is also a good source of vitamin K.

Pine nuts are the seeds of pine trees.  Did you know that?  Yep!  They are wedged between pinecone scales.  Although, there are only about 20 species of pine trees that have pine nuts large enough to harvest.  Unfortunately, that means you’re unlikely to have a gold mine of edible pine nuts from the tree in your backyard.  They offer generous amounts of manganese, zinc, and magnesium.

Garlic is considered a superfood with proven health benefits ::

  • High in vitamin B6, Manganese, Vitamin C
  • May help reduce hypertension and lower cholesterol levels
  • Contains Beneficial Antioxidants
  • May boost the immune system

There are many remarkable things about pesto. Let me count ::

  • Tastes great
  • Beneficial nutritious ingredients
  • It can be made ahead of time
  • Freezable—yes, freezable pesto!

Sky’s the limit with pesto ::

  • Add to your breakfast scramble for a quick and easy breakfast
  • Incorporate into a sweet potato salad for an easy side dish
  • Swap out marinara for pesto for a spin on lasagna
  • Put a dollop of pesto on your favorite tapas recipe
  • Change out pine nuts for walnuts and make an omega-3 rich walnut pesto

:: CREAMY PESTO SAUCE ::

Servings: 2-4 // Total Time: 15-20 minutes

INGREDIENTS ::
½ cup pine nuts
3 oz. Parmesan, grated (about ¾ cup)
5 cups basil leaves (about 3 bunches)
1 lemon, juice and zest
4 garlic cloves, finely grated
¾ cup Jenny’s BAKED at home CBD-infused olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt

PREPARATION ::
Add pine nuts to a food processor.  Then, add cheese, lemon juice and zest, and garlic.  Pulse until finely ground, about 1 minute.  Add basil with stems.  Blend ingredients, pouring CBD-infused olive oil through the food processor’s ‘food/liquid tube’ in a slow and steady stream until pesto is mostly smooth, with just a few flecks of green, about 1 minute.  Salt to taste.

MAKE – AHEAD :: 
Pesto can be made 1 day ahead.  Top with ½” plain olive oil to prevent browning.  Cover with plastic wrap, pressing directly onto surface, and chill.

NOTE (for Additional Preparation with Pasta)::
If you want to use this as a pesto sauce for pasta, cook 12 oz. dried pasta (we prefer long pasta for pesto) in a large pot of boiling salted water, occasionally stirring, until al dente.  Drain, reserving ½ cup pasta cooking liquid.  Place the pesto sauce and 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter, cut into pieces, into a large bowl.  Add pasta and ¼ cup of reserved pasta cooking liquid.  Using tongs, toss vigorously, adding more pasta cooking liquid if needed, until pasta is glossy and well coated with sauce.  Season with salt.  Divide pasta among bowls (typically serves 4 people).  Top with finely grated Parmesan.

SOURCES ::
https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/01/19/pine-nuts-benefits.aspx
https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/basil#nutrition
https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/11-proven-health-benefits-of-garlic#section6
https://hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/proceedings1990/V1-484.html
https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/266425.php#benefits

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