Classic Basil pesto can never go out of style! Use it in literally everything – as a dip, a sandwich spread, pasta sauce, salad dressing, the possibilities are endless
Pesto is quite the darling of summer. Traditionally, pesto is all about 4 ingredients – basil, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese and olive oil. The sauce doesn’t need cooking either, and comes together in just a few minutes. The classic recipe calls for a mortar and a pestle, but I prefer to use a food processor. Thanks to a lush bundle of basil from my balcony garden, I made jar of this last week. I was happily looking forward to using up my pesto in dips, sandwiches, pasta, etc through the week. As it turned out, we used up the entire jar in 2 straight meals. So much for restraint, folks!
How to use pesto
Pesto can be used in a bunch of different ways. Add it to the usual suspects such as pasta and to sandwiches, which are time-honored ways of using pesto, and will remain my favorite ways to enjoy this sauce. A fantastic way to make the most of pesto is to add it to bread dough and make some beautifully flavorful dinner rolls. Drizzle some pesto sauce over grilled salmon, grilled chicken or a platter of roasted vegetables, and make a simple meal come alive.
Variations of pesto
There are as many versions of pesto sauce as there are varieties of herbs and nuts. Add some cashew nuts to the paste, to make it richer in flavor. For a more earthy, nutty taste, substitute the pine nut with walnuts or almonds. Give a spin to your pesto by adding some sun-dried tomatoes or bell peppers before you grind your ingredients.
Classic Basil Pesto
- 3 cups fresh basil leaves rinsed
- 1/4 cup grated Parmiggiano Regianno or Parmesan cheese
- 3 garlic cloves
- 100 grams pine nuts
- 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Add all the ingredients to a food processor or a grinder, and blend together until well combined.
2. I like to leave my pesto a little chunky. rather than blending the pesto into a smooth paste, give it some texture.
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