20 Ways to Make Pesto

Last Updated August 16, 2017
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arugula pesto
Photo: Arugula pesto by Jill Melton for edible Nashville

Did you know there were so many ways to make pesto? Classic pesto is made with basil, pine nuts, oil, Parmesan, and spices. You can turn any combination of greens, oils, and nuts into a pesto, though. Here are twenty versions to try!

Radish Leaf Pesto

Put radish greens to good use in this pesto.

Mint Pesto

  One would think that cramming 4 cups of mint leaves into less than 1 cup of paste would yield an overpowering sauce that was impossible to eat. In fact, the mint maintains its freshness...

Arugula Pesto

Any fresh green and herb can be whirled into a pesto. But fresh arugula is peppery and perfect in this green condiment. We always make this up when our arugula is a day too old. Or when we have an...

Asparagus Pesto

This puree is great to have on hand. It makes an excellent sauce for broiled fish or for pasta or ravioli, or a poached egg on an English muffin.

Almond-Arugula Pesto

arugula almond pesto with basil
This is a perfect sauce for homemade pizza topped with fresh mozzarella, proscuitto, sun dried tomatoes and lemon-dressed arugula. It also makes a fantastic dressing for couscous salad with chickpeas...

Carrot-Top Pesto

How many times have you thrown away those bushy green tops?  Instead, try this deliciously peppery, textured pesto.  Have it as a condiment with roasted spring carrots, or roasted new potatoes.  ...

What to do with Garlic Scapes: Pesto

Garlic scapes, olive oil and salt and pepper are whirled up into a pesto perfect on most anything. 

Beet Pesto Flatbreads

beet pesto flatbread
Though pesto ingredients are usually used in the raw form, beets are best roasted for this recipe. Use pre-made flatbread or make your own with this yeast-free flatbread recipe.

Broccoli-Almond Pesto

Broccoli Almond Pesto
Everyone will love this fresh (and less-expensive) take on traditional pesto from Ryan Scott's cookbook, One to Five.

Mustard Greens Pesto

Mustard Greens Pesto
A spicy, seasonal twist on traditional basil pesto, this is great as a garnish for creamed corn, a spread for cornbread or a day-after-the-holiday turkey sandwich, or a dressing for roasted cabbage...

Ramp and Pea Pesto

This pesto is delicious brushed on grilled corn on the cob, as a crostini topping, served over vegetables or fish or spread across pizza dough.

Kale Walnut Pesto

Most any green can be whirled up in a pesto, particularly spring kale, when it is abundant and endless.

Nettle Pesto

Nettles are rich in potassium, magnesium and iron. You can find them growing wild in deciduous forests or plant them in a lonely corner of your garden. They thrive in poor soil, and will over-winter...

Parsley Pepita Pesto

Makes approximately 1.1/3 c This pesto is a great way to add a dollop of fresh color and texture to soups and salads.

African Blue Basil and Lavender Pesto

This pesto is made with nutrient-rich raw almonds instead of traditional pine nuts. Try toasting the almonds in a hot, dry pan over medium high heat for 3–4 minutes, until slightly browned and...
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