Beyond Basil: Fresh Ideas for Pesto

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

The most recent issue of Saveur magazine has a beautiful feature on pesto with photos, recipes, and stories of its humble beginnings in Liguria where Laura Schenone notes that it’s “more than a sauce, it’s an icon of cultural identity.” After finishing the article, I got to thinking about my pesto rut.

Now don’t get me wrong: I make fantastic pesto. I use lots of garlic, pine nuts, good olive oil, parmesan cheese and a little salt. And of course, lots of fresh basil. But I always rely on this exact formula. It’s time to find new pesto inspiration in the garden and farmers market. Because while basil certainly reminds us all of summer and is reliably declicious in pesto and other sauces, there are other herbs and greens that are equally so. It just takes a little discovery.

Try a Recipe:
Garlic Scape Pesto – Dorie Greenspan
Cilantro Pesto – Simply Recipes
Pistachio Mixed Herb Pesto – Alton Brown
Watercress Pesto – Epicurious
Garlicky Parsley Pesto Pasta – Saveur
Cilantro and Pumpkin Seed Pesto – Eating Well

(Image: diekatrin and via flickr)