Wednesday, January 27, 2010

An ode to pesto

Pesto is a fairly new addition to our eating repertoire, yet it's recently come to be a staple in our house. It's just such an easy and nutritious way to add flavor to food - it tastes really fresh and flavorful, and it's full of good stuff (there are different ways to make it, but traditional ingredients include fresh basil, olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, pine nuts, and parmesan cheese).

I've started making my own so that I can leave out the cheese and make a dairy-free version, but I've had tons of delicious store-made pesto as well. Anyway, since we've been eating so much pesto lately, I thought I'd dedicate a post to it. Here are just some of the ways I've used it recently.

1) Mixed with pasta, either hot or cold.

2) Mixed with mayo and spread on sandwiches. One of my favorites is a panini made with turkey, pesto mayo, and tomato on sourdough bread).

3) To season a caprese salad (Spread pesto on top of a sliced tomato and top with fresh mozzarella and balsamic vinaigrette)

4) In meatballs (I mix ground beef or ground turkey with one egg, some breadcrumbs, and some pesto)

5) My pesto, chicken & sausage-stuffed shells I posted about here

6) "Linda's pesto cod"

My mother-in-law is visiting and she made a delicious pesto-topped cod dish the other night. I made her cough up the recipe, and here it is....I love how simple it is, and it tastes fantastic!

sprinkle cod fillets with salt & pepper
spread pesto on top of each fillet
sprinkle chopped pistachios on top of the pesto

Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes

7) Spread on bruschetta or pizza. Sadly, I learned the hard way that pesto is sometimes made with walnuts. My poor step-father-in-law (is that a term?) is currently lying in bed sick because the Trader Joe's pesto, mozzarella & tomato flatbread I made for dinner contained walnuts, which he is allergic to. Sorry Mike!!


  1. Ooh, now I want some pesto mayo.

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  3. I, too am a huge pesto fan, but of course always use pine nuts and not walnuts!!!!