Sunday, March 6, 2011

Pesto the Unappreciated Condiment

The world is filled with a plethora of condiments, but one that is often overlooked is pesto. We often see it on pasta, but it works well with a large variety of foods. Plus it packs an amazing amount of flavor in just a few spoonfuls.

Pesto makes a great topping on other foods including poultry, fish and steak. You can also use it on pizza in place of tomato sauce and it is a great alternative to boring old mustard and mayo on sandwiches.

Pesto comes in many varieties; it is flavorful and very easy to make. Traditional pesto is made with pine nuts, basil, olive oil, Parmigiano-Reggiano and garlic.
However, you can use pretty much any flavorful or hearty greens and your own choice of nuts to change the texture and flavor. Traditional pesto is also made with a mortar and pestle, though most cooks and chefs use blenders or food processors.
And though traditional pesto is made with parmesan, in my opinion the cheese is optional, so if you don’t like it or can’t have it, you don’t have to use it.

Here are a few popular choices for pesto, but if you’re brave enough to try something else, I encourage you to try it. You never know what new masterpiece you will create.


Basil (used in classic pesto recipes)
Artichoke Hearts
Sun Dried Tomatoes

Pine Nuts
Brazil Nuts

These are just a few options, but the possibilities are endless. I encourage you to try your own combinations and see what you can create. And don’t forget to share them too.

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