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11 Ways to Get Creative with Pesto

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Just in time for the changing season, full of winter's hardy greens as well as the first herbs and soft lettuces of spring, we're bringing back this green-flecked roundup and updating it with a few of our newest favorite recipes.

Pesto should be your best friend for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It works at any time of day and on anything you want. What's more, pesto needn't be confined to the basil of your youth: We're here to tell you to forget what you know.

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That's right: Pesto can be made out of practically any vegetable or herb that's green and flavorful. Arugula? Yes. Mint? Yes. Garlic scapes? Yes, please! And if your mind isn't spinning already, just think: You can add whatever nuts, oils, and cheeses you'd like (or leave out the cheese for a vegan alternative). So use up your crisper full of languishing greens and give them a new lease on life—it's time to get creative. Once you've found your favorite combination, toss it with pasta, spread it on sandwiches, use it as a dip for vegetables, or eat it by the spoonful.

Two-Pea Pesto Chicken Salad by Kendra Vaculin

 

Grilled Bread with Thyme Pesto and Preserved Lemon Cream by fiveandspice


 

Hearts of Romaine Salad with Bacon, 5-Minute Eggs, and Pesto Dressing by Phyllis Grant


Mint-Pistachio Pesto
 by em-i-lis

 

Grilled Brie Sandwiches with Honey, Pistachio, and Kale Pesto by Taylor


Mango Salad with Fennel Frond Pesto
 by arielleclementine


Asparagus with Spring Garlic Pesto by erinmcdowell


Winter Greens Gremolata and Pesto by Phyllis Grant


Grilled Aged Cheddar Cheese Sandwich with Pistachio Sage Pesto
 by Emily Weinberger


Simple Vegan Pesto
 by Gena Hemshaw


Kale Pesto Orecchiette by Brussels Sprouts for Breakfast

 

First and seventh photos by Mark Weinberg, third and eighth by Phyllis Grant, fifth by Bobbi Lin, and all others by James Ransom.

Tags: menu ideas, pesto, sauce, condiment, basil, herbs