5 Links to Read Before Making Pesto

May 28, 2014

Each week, we’ll be sharing a comprehensive list of links to help you master something new in the kitchen. Culinary greatness, here you come.

Today: Make pesto. Put it on everything. Repeat.

Pesto is one of those handy sauces that instantly upgrades a meal. The combination of bright herbs, fresh garlic, and plenty of salt and olive oil transforms pasta, sandwiches, salads, pizza, and soup. It's easy to throw together in a pinch, and -- if you're willing to think outside the basil-and-pine-nut box -- it's highly versatile. Whip up some pesto and enjoy it all week long -- these links will help.

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Vegan PestoIdeas for Using PestoGarlic Scape PestoThe Silver Palate's Green Sauce

  • How to make any pesto in 5 steps. (Food52.)
  • Pine nuts are expensive -- try substituting them for any of these nuts instead. (Serious Eats.)
  • Next time you buy carrots, save the tops! (They make a mean pesto.) (Bon Appétit.)
  • 11 pesto variations to get you out of your comfort zone. (Saveur.)
  • Make a big batch of pesto, then use it in these 10 ways. (The Kitchn.)

Pesto pros -- share your secrets in the comments! 

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Marc
  • Francesca Murphy
    Francesca Murphy
  • midori
  • Brooke Bass | Chocolate + Marrow
    Brooke Bass | Chocolate + Marrow
  • MicronCat
The grocery store is my happy place.


Marc July 20, 2015
I like, the way you interact on this. Very good Lauren Kodiac… Keep up the great work and successful life… Good to see! Sincerely, Marc
(Fire roasted gaelic, chipotle and almond pesto, is super tasty btw…)
Francesca M. June 5, 2014
Your article inspired me to make pesto with basil and toasted hazelnuts, and a few days later with rucola and macadamia nuts. Both turned out very well. I like that I can make pesto with many kinds of nuts and greens I have around the house, not just basil and pine nuts. Thanks!
Lauren K. June 6, 2014
So glad to hear that, Francesca!
midori June 1, 2014
Kale and toasted pumpkin seeds, plus a little Parmesan and olive oil, makes a super delicious pesto.
Lauren K. June 1, 2014
Yum. That's right up my alley!
Brooke B. May 31, 2014
I just made a post for a Pistachio Chive Pesto yummy and the perfect accompaniment to summer grilling! (And I agree, it's totally worth it to get out of the basil/pine nut combo once in a while.) See here:
Lauren K. June 1, 2014
That sounds and looks delicious, Brooke!
MicronCat May 31, 2014
I have frozen pesto, and also have preserved in the pressure canner with great success. Never use pine nuts tho...always pecans.
Lauren K. June 1, 2014
I've never tried pecans in pesto. Will have to give it a shot!