Traditional pesto is made with basil, cheese, garlic, and olive oil. We all know it is delicious on pasta, but there are lots of other savory, delicious, flavor packed ideas for using this classic condiment.
Here are my top 10 ideas for using pesto:
1. Use pesto like “mayo” Spread it on a BLT , turkey and cheese or other favorite sandwich.
2. Mix It Into Dips Try a little pesto with sour cream, Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, or even guacamole. Yum.
3. Top Your Breakfast Drizzle pesto over your favorite breakfast eggs to add a touch of herbs and cheese.
4. Replace Pizza Sauce Using pesto instead of traditional tomato sauce adds an entirely different layer of flavor to homemade pizza. Just use a little, as pesto is flavor packed.
5. Bake It Into Bread Instead of garlic bread, spread pesto onto crusty bread and toast, or stir pesto into bread dough for wonderfully fragrant dinner rolls. If you don’t want to turn on the oven, just mix the pesto with some softened butter and slather on some rolls or fresh bread.
6. Mix It Into Salad Dressing Thinned with a little more oil or vinegar, you have a quick vinaigrette for summer salads. Whisk into buttermilk for an Italian version of ranch dressing.
7. Top Veggies Instead of butter, use a dab of pesto to garnish your vegetables. Or skip the butter and sour cream, mix pesto on your baked potato.
8. Quick Appetizer – A smear of pesto topped with a slice of mozzarella on a slice of toasted baguette is a very quick appetizer.
9. Enhance the Meat Pesto goes amazingly well with grilled steak, pork chops, chicken, and especially fish. You can also season meatloaf or meatballs with pesto.
10. Garnish a Soup A traditional French bean and vegetable stew, is meant to be served with a drizzle of pesto over top. Try it with Minestrone other favorites and let us know how you like it.
What is your favorite way to use pesto?
1 Cup packed basil
1/2 Cup fresh flat leaf parsley
1/2 Cup grated Parmesan
1/4 Cup toasted pine nuts (toast in skillet till browned – about 3 minutes and cool) or walnuts
3 large garlic cloves, sliced
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 Cup Extra Virgin light olive oil
1 1/2 Tbsp Extra Virgin olive oil (or use 6 Tbsp of Extra Virgin Light for mild flavor
In a food processor combine the herbs, cheese, nuts, garlic, and salt Process with on/off pulses.Process with the machine running, and SLOWLY add the oil, process to the consistency of soft butter. (This recipe can be done in a blender, but you will need to stop it frequently and push the mixture down to the blades.)