So easy to make at home, pesto is one of the most versatile condiments around. Traditional pesto includes basil, pine nuts (pignolias), and Parmesan cheese but you can make it with whatever herb or leafy green, nuts, and cheese you’d like. I definitely recommend using a hard cheese, so it incorporates well and doesn’t gum up your food processor. Other than that, use your imagination.
Here are a few ways we enjoy pesto:
- Smeared on grilled vegetables, such as zucchini, eggplant, and yellow squash.
- Tossed with pasta.
- Used as a sandwich spread. Who needs mayo?
- Lathered on pizza crust as a replacement for tomato sauce.
- Mixed with oil and vinegar to create a unique salad dressing.
- Substituted for garlic and butter for a variation on garlic bread.
- Stirred into soups.
- To dress potatoes as in Potatoes with Swiss Chard Pesto.
So, what creative uses do you have for pesto?
5-Minute Homemade Pesto
- 3 cloves garlic peeled
- 2 cups fresh basil leaves
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/3 cup pine nuts
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground pepper
With the motor running, drop garlic cloves through the feed tube of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Stop the motor, then add basil, Parmesan, and pine nuts. Pulse a few times until pine nuts are finely minced. With the motor running, add the olive oil in a steady stream and process until the pesto is thoroughly pureed.
Season with salt and pepper. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.