Mix-and-Match Pesto

Create your perfect version: The possibilities are endless!

Category:
Pesto
Kana Okada

1. Pick a nut or seed

Toast 1/3 cup in a dry skillet until lightly browned; let cool. Pulse in a food processor until finely ground.

  • Almonds
  • Cashews
  • Hazelnuts
  • Pecans
  • Pepitas (hulled green pumpkin seeds)
  • Pine nuts
  • Pistachios
  • Sesame seeds
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Walnuts


2. Choose your base

Add 3 cups total (choose up to 3).

  • Arugula
  • Basil
  • Cilantro
  • Collard greens, chopped
  • Kale, chopped
  • Mint
  • Parsley
  • Romaine, chopped
  • Spinach, chopped
  • Watercress


3. Choose your seasoning

Add 1/2 to 1 teaspoon total of the following ingredients (choose up to 3); add 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt and pulse until finely chopped.

  • Fresh thyme
  • Fresh oregano, chopped
  • Fresh tarragon, chopped
  • Fresh rosemary, chopped
  • Garlic, chopped
  • Lemon zest, grated
  • Orange zest, grated
  • Red pepper flakes


4. Pick a cheese

Grate 1/2 cup, add to the food processor and pulse to combine.

  • Aged cheddar
  • Aged or smoked gouda
  • Asiago
  • Grana padano
  • Gruyere
  • Manchego
  • Parmesan
  • Pecorino


5. Finish the pesto

Slowly pour in 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, pulsing to incorporate. Transfer the pesto to a bowl and stir in 1/4 to 1/2 cup of any of the following (optional). You'll have about 1 cup pesto; use about 1/2 cup for 1 pound pasta.

  • Fresh tomatoes, chopped
  • Mascarpone
  • Olives, pitted and chopped
  • Ricotta
  • Roasted red peppers, chopped
  • Sun-dried tomatoes, chopped


Design your own dinner, or try one of our ideas:

Arugula-Basil Pesto with Pine Nuts, Parmesan and Ricotta

Kale Pesto with Walnut and Parmesan

Romaine Pesto with Sesame Seeds, Asiago and Sun-Dried Tomatoes