Combine all the ingredients for the Basil Pesto in a blender and process on high speed until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes.
Pour into an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to use, up to 3 days.
Pesto Cheese Dip:
Place the cream cheese on a decorative microwave-proof plate, and microwave, uncovered, on high until it begins to melt slightly, about 15 seconds.
Using oven mitts or pot holders, remove the cream cheese from the microwave and spoon the Basil Pesto evenly over it.
Return plate to the microwave and cook, uncovered, on high until the pesto is just warm but still thick, 5 to 10 seconds.
Remove the dip from the microwave and serve with crackers or chips of your choice.
Recipe courtesy of Emeril Lagasse, Emeril's There's a Chef in My Soup, HarperCollins Publishers, New York, 2002
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