Zucchini Pesto with Crudités
Small bites allow for more conversation while entertaining. Serve this summery appetizer on a platter than can be passed and shared. The cooked zucchini is delicious on its own (try it as a spread) and even better blended with almonds, fresh herbs, and cheese. Garnish with a little extra cheese, if desired.
This approach makes pesto that's less grassy and intense than raw basil versions, with rounded, balanced flavor. It's good to use a mellow, mild olive oil here so it doesn't detract from the fresh herbs. If you don't care for the hot taste of raw garlic, you can take the edge off the cloves by blanching them along with the basil. We use sunflower seed kernels here because they are far less expensive than the pine nuts traditionally used, and their flavor is similarly rich and sweet. If you have pine nuts already on hand, feel free to use them instead.
This flavorful pesto recipe is made from the freshest ingredients: garlic, pine nuts, and basil. Classic pesto goes well with pasta, pizza, bruschetta, and can be added to soups or omelets. Make extra batches so you'll have enough to last awhile.
Green Pea Pesto Crostini with Prosciutto
Offering a bright pop of color and requiring next to no prep time, these tasty little toasts are equally ideal for special spring gatherings and casual afternoon snacking. You can assemble them up to 45 minutes before serving and they won't sog out.
Roasted Red Pepper Pesto
Wait a sec... pesto should be green, right? Not this basil bowl! Roasted red pepper gives this pesto an earthy umami flavor. Pair it with grainy, toasted pine nuts and Parmesan for a nutty finish.
Even kids can be convinced that this pesto rocks. If you’d like to make it a few days ahead, place the pesto in a small container and pour a layer of olive oil over it before refrigerating. The oil acts like a sealant and helps keep the green color of the pesto. Just be sure to scrape off the oil before serving.
Pesto may seem like the most obvious use for basil, but this version has a Sicilian twist. In Sicily, the locals spice things up with crushed red pepper and chopped tomatoes. We bet you'll love their saucier version.
No-Cook! A nice twist on traditional basil pesto, this version uses flat-leaf parsley for a fresh, herbal flavor. Great on pastas, bruschetta, pizzas, and sandwiches, this pesto is just as versatile as the classic.
- Flat-leaf parsley
- Toasted pine nuts
- Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- Extra-virgin olive oil
Drizzle this edgy, bitter pesto over summer tomatoes, whole grains, or scrambled eggs. For a milder version, use more basil or spinach.