There are a zillion basic pesto recipes out there in the universe so I won't add mine except to say that for some reason pine nuts cost an absolute bomb and seem to go rancid really quickly so I tend to use walnuts in my pesto instead. I buy them in large packs at the fruit shop as they last longer and I always have them on hand. So my recipe is basil, garlic, Parmesan, olive oil, walnuts, salt and pepper...and whiz....
The thing I like about pesto, apart from the way it smells like summer is it's versatility.
Here are some ideas for pesto:
- Pesto bread - add a tablespoon or two to a loaf of bread machine bread when it bips and asks for "add ins".
- Pesto cheese bread - spread on french bread, top with cheese and bake. This is really yummy with soup.
- Mix with fresh tomato and use to top bruschetta
- Spread on bread stick and top with shaved Parmesan for yummy bruschetta
- Mix through cooked arborio rice and stuff into vegetables (peppers, zucchini etc) pour over some spaghetti sauce, top with cheese and bake for a yummy vegetarian dinner
- Add a tablespoon or two the mix when making chicken meatballs
- Creamy pesto chicken is a favourite here - brown sliced chicken fillet or thing and a diced onion, add chopped tomato, sliced mushrooms and soften, add pesto and some cream. Let it bubble a bit. Serve over brown rice (my favourite) or pasta.