Fit 4 Mom- Los Angeles

Helping moms make strides in fitness, motherhood and life


on September 30, 2012
Jennie made this tasty pesto recipe from Cook’s Illustrated for the food swap.  I cut up pieces of rotisserie chicken, added some leftover green beans, cherry tomatoes and mixed it all together with whole wheat pasta.  Delicious & easy!


Pounding the basil releases its flavorful oils into the pesto more readily. Basil usually darkens in homemade pesto, but you can boost the green color a little by adding the optional parsley. For sharper flavor, substitute one tablespoon finely grated Pecorino Romano cheese for one tablespoon of the Parmesan. The pesto can be kept in an airtight container, covered with a thin layer of oil (1 to 2 tablespoons), and refrigerated for up to four days or frozen for up to one month.


  • 1/4cup pine nuts, toasted (or substitute almonds or walnuts)
  • 3medium cloves garlic, unpeeled
  • 2cups packed fresh basil leaves
  • 2tablespoons fresh parsley leaves (optional)
  • 7tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • 1/4cup finely grated Parmesan cheese or Pecorino Romano
  • Ground black pepper


  1.  Toast the nuts in a small, heavy skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently, until just golden and fragrant, about 5 minutes; set aside. Add the garlic to the empty skillet and toast over medium heat, shaking the pan occasionally, until fragrant and the color of the cloves deepens slightly, about 7 minutes. Let the garlic cool slightly, then peel, and chop.
  2. Place the basil and parsley (if using) in a heavy-duty 1-gallon zipper-lock plastic bag. Pound the bag with the flat side of a meat pounder or rolling pin until all the leaves are bruised.
  3. Process the nuts, garlic, herbs, oil, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a food processor until smooth, stopping as necessary to scrape down the sides of the bowl, about 1 minute. Stir in the Parmesan and season with salt and pepper to taste.

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