Oh pesto, perhaps the most amazing condiment on the planet. I think it is impossible to be someone that completely hates it. Deep down, somewhere within that person they must like it. They just don’t know it yet.
The aromatic basil green and Parmesan speckled condiment pesto is as versatile as t is peculiar. Those unfamiliar to its herb-laden goodness would find the color a bit off-putting. Green? Doesn’t that mean it’s bad for you? It is quite the opposite actually. Pesto is full of healthy fats depending what you put into it. Typically I like it with walnuts and heart healthy extra virgin olive oil. The basil, which contributes its green color and the fresh flavor, bring all of the other ingredients together into an incredibly capable dish.
Just to see how far a batch of basil pesto can go I compiled a list of different delicious and simple recipes that can be made with a basic recipe of pesto.
Simple Walnut Basil Pesto
- 3 large handfuls of fresh basil, washed
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/3 cup shelled, chopped and roasted walnuts
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan
- Salt and Pepper to Taste
- In a food processor combine the fresh basil with the walnuts, garlic and grated Parmesan. Blend until the nuts and basil is chopped down.
- While the food processor is on pour in the olive oil. If the mixture does not seem wet enough for you liking, add some more oil. Salt and pepper the pesto to taste.
- Enjoy the pesto in any of the ways below or any of the other unlimited ways to eat pesto.
Ways to try out your pesto
Caprese Bruschetta: Brush pesto onto warmed slices of Italian or French bread. Top with a slice of juicy tomato and creamy fresh mozzarella cheese
Pesto Garlic Bread: Mix some pesto into room temperature butter. Brush onto a baguette sliced in half. Top with some fresh crushed garlic and some garlic salt. Cook in the oven until the bread is golden brown.
Pesto Shrimp Scampi: Marinate shrimp in pesto and some lemon juice. Sauté or grill the shrimp. Cook some spaghetti and mix into the shrimp. Serve with some lemon and top with fresh Parmesan and more pesto.
Marinated Chicken: Marinate boneless chicken breasts in some pesto. Grill along with some vegetables for a low carbohydrate lunch or dinner.
Pesto Veggie Dip: Combine two tablespoons of pesto with a cup of sour cream. Stir in one cup of sautéed fresh spinach. Serve with a variety of fresh vegetables like peppers, cucumbers, carrots and broccoli.
Pesto Roasted Vegetables: Combine pesto with good roasting vegetables, like potatoes, onions, carrots, peppers and zucchinis. Toss with some olive oil and roast in the oven until the vegetables are tender.
Pesto Salad Dressing: Convert the pesto into more of a salad dressing. Add more olive oil and some rice wine vinegar to the pesto. Add the juice of half of a lemon with 2 tablespoons mustard and one tablespoon of honey. Serve on greens with other vitamin rich vegetables for a beyond average salad.
Pesto Prosciutto with Melon: Wrap slices of thinly slices prosciutto around wedged slices of cantaloupe melon. Top with a drizzle of pesto.