Huge bunches of basil are readily available at the market right now, and the giant leaves make the perfect base for a classic summer spread: pesto. You can use pesto as a quick pasta sauce, a topping for pizza or simply as a dip for grilled bread. Try David Rocco’s classic Pesto Genovese, which uses basil, garlic, pine nuts, Parmesan and olive oil. But basil isn’t a requirement for this delicious summer staple. Check out a few more fun pesto combinations below.
Arugula + Pine Nuts
Michael Chiarello’s Arugula Pesto blends blanched arugula with garlic, olive oil, pine nuts and Parmesan cheese.
Cilantro and Parsley + Almonds
Daisy Martinez’s Cilanto Pesto is good with shrimp skewers or short ribs. It combines olive oil with cilantro, parsley, almonds, and vinegar.
Parsley + Lemon
David Rocco’s Parsley-Lemon Pesto combines finely chopped parsley with freshly squeezed lemon juice, Parmigiano cheese and extra-virgin olive oil.
Parsley + Walnuts
David Rocco’s Pesto Amalfitana skips traditional pine nuts in favor of walnuts, parsley, garlic, Parmesan and olive oil.
Artichoke Hearts + Parsley + Walnuts
Giada De Laurentiis makes a hearty Artichoke Pesto that’s great on grilled bread. It blends artichokes, parsley, walnuts, lemon zest and juice, garlic, salt and pepper.
Another great thing about pesto is that it freezes well, so you can enjoy summer basil straight into the fall. If you are freezing pesto, omit the cheese when blending and drizzle the top of your finished pesto with olive oil before covering and putting in the freezer. When you’re ready to use it, thaw then stir in the cheese. It can be frozen for up to one month.
What’s your go-to pesto recipe?