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Any new, fun ideas for fresh homemade pesto?

Hi all,
Got a big bunch of basil from my Dad and made a lovely batch of homemade pesto and am looking for some ideas for a dinner on Sat.

My fav thing lately has been to butterfly/split a whole chicken and stuff pesto under the skin and grill- so good! It is supposed to be rainy here in chicagoland over the weekend, though!

Any new, fun ideas? Maybe with seafood? I am leaning toward shrimp/pesto/pasta, but that seems so boring.


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  1. PamelaD if you love cheesecake, trying swirling a fresh batch of pesto in the batter for a savory cheese hor'd.

    Love pesto as an alternative to garlic bread spread.

    Grilled over a tomatoe sandwich.

    Had my first pesto soup recently where equal parts of pesto & chicken stock were simmered and served over pasta.

    last one...pesto and eggs-outstanding combination w/scramble or omelettes.

    Good eats,

    1. There's a really great recipe on Epicurious (from Sept. 1996 Gourmet) for a Fig, Pesto and Marscapone torte. I've linked it below. It's a great use for fresh figs and fresh pesto -- really delicious and different.


      1. Sounds strange, but poached salmon with pesto spooned on top is a great combo.

        1 Reply
        1. re: farmersdaughter

          Absolutely. I actually roast my salmon, but pesto goes UNBELIEVABLY well with it -- just a spoonful.

        2. Try other green leafy-ies besides basil- Spinich Pesto is yummy, as is arugula..

          1. •pesto on a grilled steak
            •boiled potatoes, blanched greenbeans and olives tossed with pesto
            •pizza with pesto, ricotta, lemon zest and thinly sliced zucchini
            •tomato or minestrone soup with pesto
            •pesto added to mashed potatoes
            •popovers with pesto
            •pesto butter
            •ratatouille with pesto
            •tomato-based shrimp stew with pesto mayonnaise or pesto rouille
            •pesto beaten into the eggs for an omelet with roasted vegetables
            ...pretty much anything is good with pesto if the pesto is good!

            1. risotto with potatoes and zucchini.

              1. Try adding some thai green chili minced and coconut milk and use it as a sauce over rice/pasta/chicken. It sounds crazy, but works!

                1. Here are two recipes involving pesto. I've included a rewritten Marcella Hazan recipe for the pesto itself:

                  Roasted Portobello Mushrooms Stuffed with Pesto, Ricotta, and Mozzarella

                  4 medium-large portobello mushrooms
                  2 tablespoons olive oil
                  1/2 cup ricotta cheese at room temperature
                  1/2 cup freshly shredded parmigiano-reggiano cheese
                  1/2 cup freshly shredded mozzarella cheese
                  1 large egg, whisked
                  3/4 cup pesto (Marcella’s recipe)
                  Whole nutmeg for grating

                  Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Wipe the mushrooms with moist paper towels, stem them, and scrape out the black gills. Rub the mushrooms with the olive oil.

                  In a medium bowl, combine the cheeses, egg, and pesto, reserving about half of the parmesan cheese. Spoon the pesto mixture into the mushroom caps. Arrange the caps on a parchment- or foil-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle the reserved parmesan and grate the nutmeg over the mushrooms. Bake for 15-18 minutes, until the cheese is bubbling.

                  Yield: 2 servings

                  Pesto Pizza

                  1 pre-baked thin pizza crust, such as Boboli
                  1/2 cup pesto (recipe below)
                  3 1/2- to 4-ounce (small) log of soft goat cheese, such as chèvre
                  12 anchovy fillets (or more), well rinsed
                  1 teaspoon dried oregano

                  Heat the oven to 450 degrees. Place the pizza crust on a baking sheet. Spread the pesto evenly across the crust, crumble the goat cheese over all, arrange the anchovies decoratively all over the and sprinkle with the oregano. Bake watchfully until the cheese melts, 10-12 minutes, or according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

                  Pesto Marcella

                  2 cups tightly packed fresh basil leaves
                  1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
                  3 tablespoons pine nuts
                  2 garlic cloves, pressed
                  1/2 cup freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese
                  2 tablespoons freshly grated romano cheese
                  3 tablespoons butter, softened to room temperature

                  Wash and thoroughly dry the basil leaves. Put the basil, olive oil, pine nuts, chopped garlic, and an ample pinch of salt in the processor bowl, and process to a uniform, creamy consistency.

                  Transfer to a bowl and mix in the two grated cheeses by hand. (The texture will be superior if you do this by hand.) When the cheeses have3 been evenly amalgamated with the other ingredients, mix in the softened butter, distributing it uniformly into the sauce.

                  To Freeze: Make the sauce in the processor and freeze it. Add the cheeses and butter when it is thawed, just before using.

                  Yield: About 2 cups of pesto

                  1. I love pesto and goat cheese. Tossed with a little penne and it's so easy and good. My kids love it, too.

                    1. How about raw prawns sautéed with the pesto, add some white wine to thin – serve with linguine. Generous amounts of S&P to taste and serve with lemon wedges at the table.
                      Simple and delicious. Sometimes add toasted pine nuts.

                      1. I add pesto to couscous... either hot or cold as a salad.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: Jennalynn

                          Jennalynn that sounds good! I'm going to give that a try. Could really expand on that as a salad - adding fruit/nuts maybe. I'm thinking hot it would be a great side for grilled chicken.

                          1. re: kitchensalli

                            I do that as well... I use chopped dried apricots and you could mirror the nuts in the pesto by adding some pinenuts too.

                        2. Mix it with some good mayo and put in on a steak sandwich or use it as a dip for sweet potato fries!

                          1. How about homemade pesto pizza...you can even put the shrimp you mention on top.

                            I also like pesto with fresh (or frozen) peas.

                            And pesto added to fresh tomato sauce. A restaurant I frequent makes a buccatini pasta with tomato/pesto sauce with shrimp and clams. It's delicious.

                            1. Have you tried soupe au pistou? It's my second-favorite way to eat pesto. Perfect time of year to make it. There are a zillion variations.


                              1. Pesto + corn (fresh-steamed-cut-off-the-cob)+bow ties. yummm