Homemade Pesto // Used 4 Different Ways

Homemade Pesto // 4 Different Ways

One of the best and universal herbs that just sings spring is BASIL… it smells divine, adds tons of flavor and it is pretty easy to grow yourself. Basil is the key ingredient in common pesto — and pesto is a staple that everyone should master making themselves. You just need a food processor (this one is small, cleans well, and I use it frequently – the Cuisinart Mini-Prep). Today’s pesto post features a fast basil pesto recipe and 4 dishes that incorporate pesto as the highlighted ingredient. There is a little something for everyone today, and I hope you all have a fab weekend – Buon appetito!

Fresh & Quick Basil Pesto: Combine all ingredients listed in a food processor until smooth

  • 3 cups packed fresh basil leaves
  • 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted until golden and cooled (350 degrees in the oven for a few minutes)
  • 2/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • S&P to taste
  • optional (arugula, kale, or spinach leaves)

Pesto and Goat Cheese Crostini with Sundried Tomatoes

  • 10 toasted crostini bites
  • spoon goat cheese on each crostini
  • top with fresh pesto and sundried tomatoes
  • add a little S&P

Oven Baked Pesto Caprese Chicken

  • preheat oven to 375 degrees
  • on a small baking sheet arrange 4 chicken breasts
  • bake for 35-40 minutes
  • pull the chicken out and top with pesto, sliced cherry tomatoes and mozzarella
  • bake another few minutes or so until cheese is bubbling and golden

Bow Tie Pesto Pasta with Pine Nuts

  • boil bow tie pasta, drain
  • toss pesto and a few pine nuts (toast for a crunchier texture)
  • sprinkle parmesan cheese on top

Pesto Zucchini Roll Ups – yields 4

  • slice one zucchini length wise in 4 thin strips
  • spoon a little pesto
  • roll up the zucchini with a cherry tomato inside
  • stick a toothpick through it to enclose it
  • serve on a tray with basil as garnish

 

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