Sometimes I forget how much I appreciate pesto – especially our latest creation: spinach 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.  In this recipe we used spinach, pistachios and feta.
While I use pesto in so many ways, the following five ideas are my fave:

5 Ways Pesto Can Elevate Your Food!


1. Pesto Asparagus Pizza

Sub pesto in for marinara sauce. Top the pesto pizza with grilled shrimp, pine nuts, fresh arugula and pecorino cheese.
pesto and asparagus pizza

2. Sautéed Vegetables

Pump up the flavor in sautéed vegetables such as zucchini or yellow squash.

3. Marinade/Topping for Lean Proteins

Pesto adds both herbal flavor and juiciness to lean meats. Marinate the meat in pesto or brush on top for more intensity.

4. Cold salads

Instead of a salad dressing, stir pesto into cold pasta salads with mozzarella balls and sliced tomatoes. I love the easy of mashing pesto into a can of chickpeas.

5. Condiments

Pesto is perfection on deli turkey sandwiches.  Try adding pesto to grilled marinated portabellas/vegetable sandwiches as well!

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pesto in a food processor

Spinach Pistachio Pesto

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  • Author: Jennifer McDaniel


  • 8 c. spinach
  • 1/4 c. pistachios, shelled
  • 1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 c. parmesan or feta cheese
  • 1 large lemon (all the juice!)
  • 23 garlic cloves
  • 1 t. honey
  • 1/4 t. salt


  1. Blend all ingredients in a food processor or blender until you have your desired consistency. We like it to have just a bit of a crunch factor!