Read notes below before beginning.
2-3 cloves garlic
¼-½ cup olive oil
2 cups firmly packed basil leaves, fresh or frozen
½ cup pine nuts or walnuts chopped
½ cup Parmesan grated
¼ teaspoon salt, if desired
1 lb cream cheese
1. In a blender or food processor, chop up the basil leaves. This works well if they are fresh or just out of the freezer. Put in a mixing bowl.
2. Chop the nuts in a food processor with cut up garlic cloves. Add to the mixing bowl.
3. Add parmesan and salt to the mixing bowl and mix it all together while adding olive oil. Warm the mix a bit (10-20 seconds at a time im a microwave or warm the oil before adding to the mix) to prevent the olive oil from emulsifying.
4. Mix pesto with cream cheese to make schmear.
You can use nonfat cream cheese for the schmear.
Pine nuts (pignoli) are traditionally used, but I usually opt for walnuts as they are used in more recipes.
I used to measure the ingredients when I first started making this recipe but after a few times, I quit measuring. I add at least a half cup of walnuts (after processing) and I add oil til I get the consistency I desire. I add enough oil to the pesto mix so that it mixes well, then I add more oil while mixing the pesto and cream cheese together. It will stiffen after refrigerating.