When we discovered the wonder of pesto variations, our lives changed. Ok, perhaps that’s a bit dramatic, but we definitely ate more pesto!
After reading this wonderful post from The Kitchn: How To Make Perfect Pesto Every Time, we couldn’t wait to give it a try.
“Besides how heavenly it tastes, the other thing I love about pesto is that it can be whatever you want it to be. Traditional Italian pesto is, of course, made strictly with basil, pine nuts, parmesan, garlic, and really good olive oil. It’s a classic sauce, no contest.
But you can switch out the basil for another handy herb or leafy green, replace the (crazy expensive, if delicious) pine nuts with a different favorite nut, or swap the parm for pecorino or asiago. Use more or less of anything to suit your tastes. Heck, you can even make a lower-fat pesto by replacing some of the olive oil with ricotta cheese!
Bottom line: green + nuts + cheese + olive oil = awesome sauce, literally. Whiz it up in a blender and you can’t go wrong.” –The Kitchn
In addition to being incredibly tasty, a pesto variation allows you to consider cost, seasonality, availability, and gives you a chance to use up what you’ve got! Can’t afford pine nuts? Try walnuts! Basil not in season? Try parsley, kale, or arugula.
Here is a great site to help get you thinkin’ pesto variations: Love and Lemons
Use it up
What would you substitute to turn traditional pesto into frugal pesto?