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Ideas for pesto

My wife just heated something up with pesto on it, and it got me to thinking what I could add pesto to other than pasta. It's a pretty subtle flavor and so I'm wondering what it could hold up to without being overpowered.

Also, what other ingredients could be added to it to make it a little more robust. What about anchovies and capers?

Anyone have any successful ideas they've tried?

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  1. I like to add chopped capers to it and spread it on a salmon fillet and bake it. I do this with cheese-less pesto; or, I should say, pesto I've made to freeze to which I only add cheese at the table. I also like it spread on sandwiches. It's good stuff!

    1. Just made a nice salad the other day with brown rice, pesto, s&p, grated Parm, sliced grape tomatoes and slivered basil - mix it all together and enjoy!


      1. I've used pesto as an accompaniment to roast or grilled chicken, pan-fried fish, cauliflower, potatoes, green beans. Honestly, I think pesto enhances many dishes, and can be used as a sandwich spread as well.

        Sometimes I use pine nuts but I love to vary the variety of nuts keeping the other ingredients the same: basil, garlic, EVOO. Cashews are a delicious, as are macadamias Occasionally I use cilantro instead of basil...

        1. It's good as a sandwich spread. A little prosciutto, maybe a slice of cheese, and a smear of pesto on crusty bread - what's not to like?

          1 Reply
          1. re: alanbarnes

            My son loves it on a chicken sandwich, and on a chicken panini even more.

          2. Some pesto stirred into hummus is lovely. And ditto to the suggestion of using it as a sandwich spread. I quite like goat cheese and pesto on some good bread.

            1. Cilantro pesto is wonderful, perfect on fish tacos.

              1 Reply
              1. re: junescook

                You beat me to it. I love basil pesto, but I also use cilantro and parsley. I just stumbled onto a recipe for spinach pesto, and I plan on making a batch soon, and it will probably be a mixture of spinach, basil, and another herb (I've liked the additions of rosemary and dill with various things).

                Also, I like to enhance the olive oil with other types of oil, usually the oils from my sundried tomatoes or artichokes.

              2. Mix it in to yogurt "cheese" for a spread, or thin it out to make it a dip.

                1. Brush pesto on Pizza Margarita in place of olive oil. It's so good it makes me wanna dance.

                  1. More garlic. If you make your own, walnut oil adds some punch. Also, it can go over cheese ravioli and be very tasty. Mix it with a bit of mayo for sandwiches.

                    1. In the summer, when you can get really fresh tomatoes it makes a great salad - sliced ripe tomatoes, top with thinly sliced fresh mozzarella, drizzle pesto on top. I like walnuts in pesto as a sub for the pine nuts. Cheaper and have never been able to taste the difference, it just makes the color darker.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: pasuga

                        for a pasta alternative try steaming littlenecks & toss w/ linguine and a generous dose of pesto.

                      2. drizzle on top of quesadillas made with a light cheese combo like provolone, or even use a swiss or romano combo along with some sundried tomatoes rehydrated and diced, and caramelized onions and roasted garlic.

                        drizzle on top of broccoli soup (gordon ramsay's version).

                        on top of omelettes

                        on top of polenta rounds - cook polenta, let set, then cut into squares or rounds and saute til crisp, serve with a mushroom and onion ragu and pesto

                        with cornmeal pancakes

                        great to layer into a terrine --- layer pesto, then cream cheese or yogurt blended with roasted garlic, minced garlic, milk, salt and pepper, sundried tomatoes and pine nuts; then more cream cheese mixture, then pesto. let chill in fridge. drizzle with more pesto olive oil and pine nuts to serve with toasted bread.

                        i also make arugula pesto for my stepdad, as well as kale variation.