Light Pesto


Those of you who didn’t vacation at the Jersey Shore as a child might be sad to hear that you missed out on something. And no, I’m not talking about STDs from Karma.

I’m talking about Jersey tomatoes. The tomatoes at the farmer’s markets here in Illinois are good, no doubt, but there is nothing quite like a Jersey tomato. Am I right, Jersey natives? Especially in a caprese salad. DR Aunt makes a mean caprese that she seems to whip up out of nowhere for her dinner parties, but unfortunately nothing I do is quite that effortless.

In an attempt to increase the sheer volume of pesto I can eat with my summer tomatoes, I looked around for a “light” pesto that is oil-free. This one is super flavorful, and I’m not sure I missed the oil at all. Especially after about a cup of the stuff.

“Light” Pesto, inspired by Eat Live Run

-2 cloves garlic
-1 bunch fresh basil
-1 handful spinach, arugula, or other green (note: super fresh arugula makes this recipe spicy!)
-1/4 c bread crumbs
-2 T Pecorino Romano cheese (Parmesan works too)
-3 T white miso (you can find this refrigerated at Whole Foods. It tastes a little cheesy)
-1/4 – 1/2 cup water


Let’s do this:
Process the garlic in the food processor first to mince it. Scrape down sides and add the remaining ingredients, saving water for last and adding as much water as needed for your desired consistency. I used about 1/4 cup water.


This whole recipe has about 170 calories (I threw the ingredients in a nutrition calculator, results below). Regular pesto has that much in 2 tablespoons! All the more caprese you can eat, or fried pickles if you are Snookie.


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4 thoughts on “Light Pesto

  1. joman says:

    Hey ! You talk’en to me? Forget about it……

  2. ling says:

    Gorg! white miso what? can’t wait to try this…gonna pick that up and nutritional yeast…cuz i have no idea what either of them are:) but i’m expecting to be put back a few million at WFs…gonna raise my own debt ceiling…

  3. […] talked on the blog before about my love for tomatoes. Well, the CSA gods must have heard my cry, because this week we got a bunch of gorgeous […]

  4. frugaltable says:

    And I just traditional pesto last night and now I find this. There’s another couple of basil plants left in the garden that are slotted for this recipe!

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