Beyond Spaghetti: 10 Things to Do With Pesto

During the Summer, I love to use the bounty of in-season basil to make fresh pesto. The combination of basil, walnuts, parmesan cheese, and olive oil is always delicious. If you don't have time to blitz together your own pesto but want to cook with the sauce, simply pick up some from your local market. Although pesto is wonderful tossed with al dente pasta, there are plenty of other ways to make use of the Italian sauce. Here are eight ideas:

  1. Instead of using tomato sauce, top pizza dough with pesto. Sprinkle with cheese for a scrumptious twist on a classic cheese pizza, or pile on veggies like asparagus and arugula for an ultragreen pie.
  2. Slather it on shrimp before roasting for a major flavor boost, or dollop it on top of grilled whole fish.
  3. Do lasagna the Summer way by swapping bolognese sauce for pesto.
  4. Serve with crackers and charcuterie for an easy appetizer.
  5. Make pasta salad: Add the pesto, a generous dose of veggies, and pasta into a bowl. Mix well to combine, then chill for several hours, so the flavors can blend together.
  6. Serve atop grilled lamb chops.
  7. Drizzle pesto over scrambled eggs.
  8. Coat miniballs of mozzarella with the pesto. Skewer onto toothpicks with cherry tomatoes and basil leaves for a party-ready spin on caprese salad.
  9. Swirl it into mashed potatoes.
  10. Layer it with hummus, chopped cucumbers, pine nuts, and other Mediterranean ingredients for a fresh take on seven-layer dip.