Herbaciously Delicious Pesto!

August 9, 2011

The first time I had pesto, that glorious green sauce of basil, olive oil, pine nuts and Parmesan, was in Italy way back in the early 80s. I grew up in a small town in Central Oregon, so access to international cuisines was sparse to say the least. In fact, I don't think I'd even had fresh basil prior to that trip. Sad, I know. Since then I've more than made up for lost time, making pesto with just about any fresh herb I can get my hands on - mint, parsley, sage, cilantro - and trying different nuts like walnuts, hazelnuts and almonds.

Beyond tossing it in pasta, I'll layer goat cheese and sun-dried tomatoes with basil pesto in a delicious torta, I'll drizzle grilled lamb riblets with a walnut pesto (pictured below), spread a rustic Italian bread with arugula pesto and top it with heirloom tomatoes. You can mix it with mayo, add it to vinaigrettes, dollop on soups, spoon it over fish before broiling - the varieties of pesto and its uses are endless! Try some of my favorite pesto recipes below.

Sage and Goat Cheese Pesto
Fava Bean, Almond and Mint Pesto
Spinach Arugula Pesto With Hazelnuts
Cilantro Mint Pesto
Parsley Thyme Pesto

Looking for more? Search hundreds of pesto recipes here!

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Warren Bobrow's picture

What a gorgeous piece of writing! And the photography makes me want to take a bowl-full of pesto, a spoon and a hunk of bread outside and feast!

Sheri Wetherell's picture

Thanks, Warren, that means a lot!