Pesto 3 Ways: Recipes and Video

Lip Smackin' Good

Who doesn’t love pesto? Personally, I have never met someone who would challenge that question, and these three quick and fresh recipes could change any doubter’s mind. Since pesto freezes beautifully, it’s a great sauce to make ahead and keep on hand for a quick and delicious dinner any night of the week. Toss with your favorite pasta, veggies, or bake with chicken or pork for a great flavor boost.

Clockwise from Left: Spring Pea & Roasted Tomato Pesto, Classic Pesto, Spinach Mushroom Pesto

Tip: When freezing, just make sure to use an airtight container, and press some plastic wrap over the top before snapping on the lid. If extra air pockets get into the pesto it could cause some of the basil to oxidize and change color from its bright, pretty green.

Makin' Pesto on Studio 5! Watch Video here:

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Classic Basil Pesto

Yields 2 cups of Pesto

Ingredients:
4 cups fresh basil leaves
3-4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
½ c. pine nuts (I also like to use walnuts or toasted cashews)
½ lemon, juiced
¾ c. shredded parmesan cheese
½ c. extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper

Classic Pesto

Add all ingredients to a food processor except for ¼ c. olive oil. Turn on the food processor, and allow to puree. Slowly stream in the remainder of the olive oil and salt & pepper to taste. Continue to process until all ingredients are fully incorporated and pureed.

Spinach Mushroom Pesto

Yields about 2 cups of Pesto

¼ lb. (4-5 good size) Brown Crimini mushrooms, Sliced and Roasted (see below for instructions)
Cooking spray
1 c. fresh basil leaves
3 c. fresh spinach leaves
3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
½ lemon, juiced
¼ c. walnuts
¾ c. shredded parmesan cheese
½ c. extra virgin olive oil
Salt and Pepper

To Roast Mushrooms:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Spread the mushroom slices on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray, and lightly sprinkle with salt. Roast for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.

Roasted Mushrooms

For Pesto:

Add all ingredients, including roasted mushrooms, to a food processor except for ¼ c. olive oil. Turn on the food processor, and allow to puree. Slowly stream in the remainder of the olive oil and salt & pepper to taste. Continue to process until all ingredients are fully incorporated and pureed.

Spring Pea and Roasted Tomato Pesto

Yields about 2 cups of Pesto

Ingredients:
½ pint of grape tomatoes, or 2 Roma tomatoes, sliced and roasted (see below for roasting directions)
2 cloves garlic
12 oz. package of frozen peas, thawed (use fresh peas if available!)
½ lemon, juiced
¼ c. walnuts
½ c. shredded parmesan cheese
¼ c. extra virgin olive oil
Salt and Pepper

To Roast Tomatoes:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Spread the tomato slices on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray, and lightly sprinkle with salt. Roast for 15-20 minutes until shriveled and sizzling. Remove from oven and set aside.

Roasted Tomatoes

For Pesto:

Add all ingredients, including roasted tomatoes, to a food processor except for half of the olive oil. Turn on the food processor, and allow to puree. Slowly stream in the remainder of the olive oil and salt & pepper to taste. Continue to process until all ingredients are fully incorporated and pureed.

Roasted Tomatoes

The simple recipe for Roasted Tomatoes is a base staple ingredient in many recipes, or to use as topping on salads, appetizers and garnishes.

Ingredients:

  • 3 small tomatoes, OR
  • 20 grape tomatoes
  • pan spray
  • coarse sea salt

1. Slice tomatoes as thinly as possible.

2. Arrange the slices on a baking sheet coated with pan spray.

3. Lightly sprinkle sea salt over the tomato slices (roughly enough so that each slice gets a few grains of salt. This will help draw out the moisture of the tomatoes, and bring out the desired sweetness).

4. Bake at 425 degrees for 25-30 minutes, or until slices have become shriveled. Some thinner ones will be browned (these ones are extra delicious!).