Sometimes I forget how much I appreciate pesto. Not only can the spread itself have several variations, but just a dollop of pesto can elevate the ordinary scrambled eggs or everyday turkey sandwich. Traditional pesto calls for garlic, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, and basil; however, you can sub in different greens, nuts or cheeses. While I use pesto in so many ways, the following five ideas are my fave:
- Pesto Pizza: Sub pesto in for marinara sauce. Top the pesto pizza with grilled shrimp, pine nuts, fresh arugula and pecorino cheese.
- Sautéed vegetables: Pump up the flavor in sautéed vegetables such as zucchini or yellow squash.
- Lean meat: Pesto adds both herbal flavor and juiciness to lean meats. Marinate the meat in pesto or brush on top for more intensity.
- Cold salads: Instead of a salad dressing, stir pesto into cold pasta salads with mozzarella balls and sliced tomatoes
- Condiments: Pesto is perfection on deli turkey sandwiches. Try adding pesto to grilled marinated portabellas/vegetable sandwiches as well!
Arugula & Pistachio Pesto
Total Time: 10 minutes
Yield: ~1 cup
- 6 cups packed arugula
- 1/3 cup shelled pistachios
- ¼ cup Parmesan cheese
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1-2 cloves garlic
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 T. balsamic vinegar
- 1 t. honey
- 1/2 t. salt
Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend to desired consistency.