50 Pesto Recipes

Try a fresh take on the classic!

Insert and Spread_ 50 Pestos

From left: Kale-Mint Pesto (No. 14), Roasted Red Pepper Pesto (No. 23) and Carrot Pesto (No. 18)

Pesto Tips

  • Toast the nuts to bring out their flavor: Heat them in a dry skillet over medium heat until lightly golden and fragrant. Let cool before pureeing.
  • Loosely pack fresh herbs in your measuring cup. If using leafy herbs like parsley or cilantro, include the thin tender stems, too.
  • To emulsify the pesto, add the oil gradually: Keep the blender or food processor running while you pour the oil in a slow, steady stream.
  • Refrigerate leftover pesto up to 5 days or freeze up to 1 month. (Each recipe makes 1 to 2 cups.)
Insert and Spread_ 50 Pestos

Classic Basil (No. 1)

1. Classic Basil Puree 4 cups fresh basil, 1/3 cup toasted pine nuts, 1 garlic clove and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. With the machine running, gradually add 1/2 cup olive oil. Stir in 1/2 cup grated Parmesan.

2. Corn-Basil Puree 1 1/2 cups fresh corn, 1 cup fresh basil, 1/3 cup toasted slivered almonds, 1 garlic clove and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. With the machine running, gradually add 1/2 cup olive oil. Stir in 1/2 cup grated Parmesan.

3. Tomato-Basil Puree 1 heaping cup cherry tomatoes, 1 cup each fresh basil and parsley, 1/3 cup toasted slivered almonds, 1 garlic clove and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. With the machine running, gradually add 1/3 cup olive oil. Stir in 1/2 cup grated Parmesan.

4. Sun-Dried Tomato Puree 2 cups each fresh basil and parsley, 1/3 cup each toasted pine nuts and chopped sun-dried tomatoes (not oil-packed), 1 garlic clove and 1/2 teaspoon each grated lemon zest, red pepper flakes and kosher salt. With the machine running, gradually add 1/2 cup olive oil. Stir in 1/2 cup grated Parmesan.

5. Puttanesca Make Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto (No. 4), adding 6 anchovy fillets to the food processor; stir in 1/3 cup roughly chopped pitted Kalamata olives.

6. Tamarind-Tomato Saute 1 chopped shallot and 1 tablespoon each chopped garlic and chopped peeled ginger in olive oil until softened. Add 1 chopped tomato, 2 tablespoons tamarind paste and 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt; cook until the tomato softens. Let cool slightly, then puree with 1/4 cup each fresh mint and cilantro and 2 tablespoons each toasted cashews and cashew butter. With the machine running, gradually add 1/4 cup olive oil.

7. Vietnamese Puree 6 cups fresh mint, 2 tablespoons each chopped peeled ginger and fish sauce, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, 1 garlic clove and the grated zest and juice of 1 lime. With the machine running, gradually add 1/4 cup grapeseed oil.