Beyond pasta: 8 extraordinary uses for pesto

June 30, 2015

Pesto has an almost endless number of uses beyond pasta. Here are 8 extraordinary ways pesto can enhance the flavour and appeal of sandwiches, appetizers, mains, breakfast and more!

Beyond pasta: 8 extraordinary uses for pesto

1. Use pesto as a spread

To get out of the mayonnaise and mustard rut, use pesto as a sandwich spread. Pesto lends terrific flavour to chicken sandwiches and Italian subs.

2. Add zest to mashed potatoes

For basil mashed potatoes, stir in 15 to 30 millilitres (one to two tablespoons) of pesto along with the other ­ingredients in the mash.

3. Make breakfast fun and tastier

To bring a touch of vibrant garden colour to the breakfast table, make green eggs and ham (think: Dr. Seuss) by stirring 15 to 30 millilitres (one to two tablespoons) of pesto into scrambled eggs before cooking. Serve with back bacon.

4. Give pasta some pizzazz

To add bright flavour to lasagna or stuffed pastas, like ravioli and manicotti, stir pesto into the ricotta cheese in the filling. Try adding other high-flavour ingredients, too, like sun-dried tomatoes, sausage, prosciutto and oil-cured olives.

5. Perk up the flavour of soup

To give brothy soups such as chicken noodle an extra shot of flavour, stir in a little pesto at the end of the cooking time. Pesto also works in almost any vegetable soup for a last-minute flavour boost (the French call a vegetable soup with pesto added at the end a "pistou").

6. Roast turkey with an aromatic twist!

For an aromatic and rich-tasting roast turkey, rub prepared pesto under the skin and in the cavity of a whole turkey. Stuff the turkey cavity with cut-up lemons and onions. Rub the outside of the turkey with some butter and roast. Make pan gravy out of the drippings, adding a little pesto to the gravy as well.

7. Turn boiled potatoes into "bold" potatoes

When you want roasted potatoes to taste bolder, stir in 15 to 30 millilitres (one to two tablespoons) of pesto into the spuds right after they come out of the oven.

8. Use pesto to keep meat moist

For a no-fuss crust on roasted lamb, pork or beef, slather prepared pesto over the surface before roasting. The oil in pesto bastes the meat as it cooks, keeping the meat moist — and the garlic, basil and Parmesan cheese add fantastic flavour.


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