Creamy Almond-Pesto Dip

This pesto is made with almonds instead of pine nuts and since it’s mixed with lots of creamy things, don’t think of it as a substitute for classic pesto. It’s great on burgers and grilled chicken, too.

Makes about 2 cups.

¼ cup whole almonds, toasted
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1½ cups fresh basil leaves, plus more for garnish
1 tablespoon olive oil
¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
4 oz. cream cheese (half an 8-oz. package), at room temperature, or ½ cup Yogurt Cheese
¼ cup sour cream, full-fat plain yogurt, or Yogurt Cheese
½ teaspoon kosher salt

1. Place the almonds and garlic in a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse until well chopped. Add the basil and pulse again until chopped. While the machine is running, gradually add the oil through the feed tube, and process until smooth. Add the remaining ingredients and process until thick.

2. Transfer to a serving bowl, cover, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 3 days. Server garnished with basil leaves.

Serve with baby carrots or carrot sticks, celery sticks, endive, jicama sticks or slices, or steamed tiny new potatoes.

From Party Dips! 50 Zippy, Zesty, Spicy, Savory, Tasty, Tempting Dips (The Harvard Common Press, 2004)