It’s hard not to love Pesto Sauce with its vibrant green color and punch of herbal flavor. This gift from Italy is a summer sauce that goes so well with the seasons ingredients. It can be tossed with pasta, used on pizza, spread on bread for a sandwich, stirred into a Risotto, used as a dip, added to a soup, or drizzled on vegetables like Tomato, Summer Squash, Green Beans, and Eggplant.
Classic pesto has 5 simple ingredients: Green Basil (raw or blanched), Pine Nut (raw or toasted), Garlic, Olive Oil, and Parmesan Cheese, traditionally made in a mortar and pestle. Todays busy chefs usually use a blender or Robot Coupe to purée the ingredients together. The options for creating variations on Pesto Sauce can be unlimited.
As we look for ways to use up the last of the summers ingredients, consider creating a unique Pesto Sauce. Below we list ideas for substitutes on the classic pesto ingredients to create unlimited possibilities:
Garlic: Green Garlic, Black Garlic, Softneck Garlic Scrape, Rocambole Garlic, Garlic Confit, Roasted Garlic, Ramp Bulb
Green Basil: Lemon Basil, Opal Basil, Arugula, Watercress, Radish Top, Nasturtium Green, Tatsoi, Baby Spinach, Fava Green, Green Amaranth Greens, Lamb’s Quarter, Pea Tendril, Nettles, Orach, Italian Parsley, Cilantro, Chervil, Kale, Beet Green, Red Spinach, Rainbow Chard
Pine Nut: Pistachio, Pumpkin Seed, Sprouted Watermelon Seed, Sunflower Seed, Almond, Brazil Nut, Cashew, Hazelnut, Lotus Nut, Marcona Almond, Tiger Nut, Chestnut, Macadamia Nut, Pecan Walnut, Sesame Seed
Olive Oil (most oils are intense, so it is best to mix a flavored oil with a mild oil)- Strong Flavored Oils: Walnut Oil, Almond Oil, Hazelnut Oil, Macadamia Nut Oil, Pumpkin Seed Oil; Mild Oils: Sunflower Oil, Canola Oil, Grapeseed Oil, Rice Oil, Safflower Oil, Vegetable Oil
Parmesan Cheese: Asiago Cheese, Grana Padano, Pecorino Cheese, Romano Cheese, Cotija Cheese, Ricotta Salata
Other Ingredients: Sun-Dried Tomato, Panko