Herb growing is the gateway to vegetable gardening. It’s actually so easy to grow herbs that you can grow them in your dorm room–by the window of course. But what to do with all that cilantro, parsley and basil? You can only make so much salsa or caprese salad, and garnishing only takes a few sprigs. You’re left with an overgrown bush of several herbs, when it should be a neatly contained herb garden.
Enter pesto. Some may call it the gateway to gourmet cooking. The word is Italian for “to pound or crush.” Traditionally, the recipe calls for basil leaves, pine nuts, garlic and Parmesan cheese, but now there are so many variations. So pound or crush away with these delicious pesto recipes.
Alexia Detweiler is a freelance writer in Lancaster, Pa. When she’s not in the kitchen cooking, you can find her sweatin’ it up in hot yoga, or beating the crap out of a heavy bag at the boxing gym, depending on her mood.
Fire up the grill for this roasted potato recipe. Perfect for a side dish to steaks on the grill, or to eat alone when you decide to skip the cook out and stay in to watch the Olympics.
Stray off the beaten path with these unique pestos: Sorrel Pesto and Basil-Celery Pesto. The sour Sorrel Pesto works well with fish dishes, while the Basil-Celery Pesto is recommended for pasta and veggie patties.
Peas and pistachios give this pesto it’s sweetness. Toss it with penne, roasted chicken and lemony ricotta, and you’ve got yourself an easy gourmet meal for a summer evening.
Nothing smells more like summer cooking than cilantro. This cilantro-peanut pesto is one of my favorites. I toss it with stir-fried veggies, tofu and rice but it also tastes great in chicken salad.
While pesto and pasta is a match made in heaven, it doesn’t mean you can’t make a few substitutions. Use a peeler to create zucchini “ribbons” instead of pasta and toss them with almond-basil pesto.