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  • Pesto With Sun-Dried Tomatoes

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  • 1 cup packed, fresh basil leaves
    2 garlic cloves, peeled
    1 tablespoon chopped, fresh parsley
    2 tablespoons pine nuts
    1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1/4 cup olive oil
    8 oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained
    2 to 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (red-wine vinegar will do in a pinch)
    In a blender jar or food-processor bowl, combine the basil, garlic and parsley; process until finely chopped. Add the pine nuts, Parmesan and salt; process just until blended. With machine running, slowly add the olive oil and process until a smooth paste is formed. Add the sun-dried tomatoes and vinegar and continue processing just until tomatoes are finely chopped, but flecks are still visible. Makes about 1 1/2 cups.
    SERVING SUGGESTIONS: Stir into a batch of risotto; slather it on unbaked pizza crust, then top with grilled chicken, sliced onions, large shavings of Romano and mozzarella cheeses, chopped fresh tomato and salt and pepper; loosen with a bit of tomato sauce and pour over cheese ravioli or tortellini, topped with crumbled feta or goat cheese; mix it with goat cheese or feta and spread on toasted baguette slices.
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