Pesto is the perfect summer dish. It’s quick, easy and doesn’t involve turning on the stove. The name comes from the Italian word pestare, meaning to pound or crush, as traditionally it was made by crushing the ingredients together in a mortar and pestle. When most of us hear the word pesto, we think of pesto genovese, a traditional green pesto from Genoa, Italy made with fresh basil, pine nuts, garlic, olive oil and Parmigiano Reggiano. But there are actually several different types of pesto originating from different regions of Italy, each taking advantage of local ingredients.
- Spread it on hot or cold sandwiches- anything from turkey sandwiches to grilled cheese
- Top grilled chicken breasts, fish or other meats with it
- Mix it with a little ricotta or goat cheese and use it as a stuffing for chicken breasts or pork chops
- Add flavor to vegetarian or egg dishes- try stirring a spoonful into sautéed vegetables or a frittata
- Mix it with Greek yogurt to make a healthy dip for vegetables or chips
- Spread it on garlic bread for an extra hit of flavor
- Use it onto homemade pizza dough as an alternative to tomato sauce
- Spread it on toasted country bread and top it off with some arugula and shavings of Parmigiano Reggiano for a healthy snack
Pulse until the ingredients are finely chopped.
Add the vinegar and tomatoes and pulse again until the tomatoes are finely chopped. With the food processor running, add the oil in a steady stream until a thick, slightly chunky paste forms. Do not over process. Stop the food processor and scrape down the sides. Then, add the cheese and process again until just combined. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.
Stay tuned for an upcoming post, which will feature my homemade Pesto Rosso in a delicious pasta dish.