Are you channeling your best self with this comment? (If you're not sure, check out our Code of Conduct.)
Nancy is a trusted home cook.
Yes for bread, doubtful for pesto.
I've had great results when baking bread with coconut oil or butter, whether substituting for olive oil or another fat. The texture is fine and the amounts are usually so small that there is no negative affect on taste.
In making pesto, on the other hand, I would hesitate to use coconut oil, because of its flavor and near-solid texture at room temp.
If your concern in making pesto is the "large amount" of olive oil, make the pesto several times, reducing the olive oil a little each time, to reach your perfect balance between taste and quantity of oil.
If your concern is the olive oil itself, for whatever reason, experiment with various quality cold-pressed oils - e.g., walnut, almond, grapeseed - to see which you like better.
SusanW, about coconut oil salad dressings. Years ago made one to be poured just before serving over a salad with some hot vegetables in it and eaten soon. Memories vague. But in answer to your curiosity, just googled and found tons of recipes. Enough to make me try them again. For more info:
Susan W is a trusted source on General Cooking.
Nancy, I get the dressing poured over warm vegetables, but I had no idea the addition of olive oil would keep it from hardening. I guess I thought it would separate from the olive oil and go very hard. I'm going to have to try a couple of dressing recipes. I'm envisioning a big shrimp salad of some sort.
I love pesto with coconut oil. I don't find coconut oil to be at all overpowering especially when mixed with basil, garlic and parm. Keep in mind, unless you are using the liquid CO, it will be very solid.
SusanW - I will defer to you on the coconut oil in pesto. But I've used it in other salad dressings and not liked it. So I wonder if it's something like cilantro - people either like it or not, no neutral ground?
Nancy it's very possible. I love the taste of coconut oil and wish it imparted more of a flavor. How did you use it in a salad dressing? It's so solid at room temp.
Nancy, I also meant to say that I've run across people who absolutely hate coconut oil and swear they can smell it a mile away. That reminds me of the cilantro love or hate.