Too much basil in your garden? Whip up batches and freeze in small containers with a thin layer of olive oil on top…. Keeps for several months and is great to have for last minute dinners.
Pesto variations: use ½ basil and ½ arugula or spinach; other variations: use ¾ basil and ¼ parsley or coriander; other variations – add some reconstituted sun-dried tomatoes or olives (in these cases taste carefully before adding salt).
Uses for Pesto:
1. Appetizers and Dips – use on crostini, as a sauce for shrimp cocktail or mixed with plain yogurt or sour cream as a dip
2. Salad dressing – mix with olive oil or mayo; mix into risotto, rice or mashed potatoes; add to meatball mixture before forming meatballs
3. Sandwich spread – thin out with olive oil or water before using
4. Sauce/garnish – for meat, chicken, fish (esp. good topped on sautéed white fish fillets or salmon fillets), or veggies (i.e. cauliflower, broiled zucchini)
5. Filling/stuffing – combine with cream cheese and use on sandwiches or combine with breadcrumbs as a stuffing for chicken breasts or rolled up fish fillets. Could also be used as a filling for grilled cheese sandwiches
6. Pizza – make a sensational “white” pizza by topping the dough with pesto, fresh cheese, and shrimp or fresh shucked clams or blanched veggies
7. Pasta – the go-to use for pesto – liven things up by adding a little red pepper flakes to the pesto or use some of the fresh oregano from you garden along with the pesto.