Pesto is like an SOS for your kitchen and can get you out of the regular bind of deciding what to have for dinner. This famous paste made of basil, oil, ground pine nuts, parmesan cheese and lemon juice can be put on virtually any food that isn’t dessert.
This traditional Italian spread is great on Italian food, such as pizza, pasta and garlic bread, but it can be used to dress up a variety of dishes, such baked fish or roasted chicken. You can dress up any salad by adding some pasta to an oil or cream dressing and add spark to your soup, particularly cream soup or tomato-based soup.
Potatoes and rice pick up the flavor of pesto well, and pesto can even be used as a dipping sauce for french fries or can be mixed in with mashed potatoes. These ideas and more prove pesto’s versatility.
1. Pesto Pizza
When most people in the United States and around the world think of pizza, they imagine a tomato sauce base, hard mozzarella cheese and toppings baked in the oven.
However, if you go to Italy, you will find many variations on pizza, including types without cheese, with white sauce and other toppings. Basil can also be a fantastic replacement for tomato sauce. This will create a rich a pungent pizza, and is best made into small, personal pizzas. Just take the pizza dough and spread pesto on it instead of sauce before sprinkling the cheese on top. To avoid the pesto drying out, add more oil to the pesto and some water so it spreads evenly.
If you don’t feel like using a pure pesto sauce, mix pesto with tomato sauce for extra flavor. This can add a bold, satisfying flavor regardless of the type of cheese you use.