I really dislike it when I have to buy a bunch of basil for a recipe that calls for a whopping 2 T. Today, I was determined to use something with the remainder, and I think I hit a home run with this tasty topping which is so versatile. Deborah Madison suggests using this red pesto to season soups or to spread on grilled cheese sandwiches (yummo!). I decided it would be a good topping for whole wheat crackers and it was awesome. The garlic is sharp and contrasts with the sweetness of the basil and tomato paste. The cheese gives the side creaminess and salt, without having to add it from an outside source. So easy, so simple, so tasty, so scrumptious. It's a no effort crowd pleaser.
Makes about 3/4 cup
Cooking Time: 10 minutes
-2 garlic cloves,
-1 1/2 cups loosely packed basil leaves
-1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil (use slightly less)
-1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
-2 to 3 T tomato paste
Pound the garlic with 1/2 teaspoon salt in a mortar until smooth. Chop the basil in a food processor and gradually add the oil to make a coarse puree. Remove and stir into the garlic with the cheese and tomato paste.