Pesto Sauce

Pesto is our go-to pasta sauce year-round, but especially in summer, when fresh basil abounds. Basil's aromatic brightness and vibrant color are the hallmark of this delicious, classic sauce, but you can also try swapping in other greens and herbs, such as spinach, kale, parsley or mint—or change up the typical pine nuts in pesto for pistachios, hazelnuts or almonds. We also love it on sandwiches, as a marinade for fish and mixed into creamy dips. Whether you're looking for a new twist on pesto sauce or a more traditional version, Food & Wine has the recipe you're looking for.

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Basil Pesto
Pesto tastes like the herby, green essence of summer in a bowl, whether you twirl pasta in it, spoon it over grilled vegetables, dollop it into minestrone, or serve it as a dipping sauce alongside seared shrimp. This is a classic version of basil pesto, albeit made in a food processor instead of with a mortar and pestle. Be sure to add the oil slowly, so it emulsifies the sauce. Use this recipe as a baseline for the amount and type of pesto you prefer, and adjust it to your needs. You can cut this recipe in half for a smaller amount, or make extra; this recipe is easily doubled or tripled, and leftovers will keep in the refrigerator for up to five days when topped with a layer of oil to prevent the pesto from oxidizing. If you are making a large batch of pesto to stash in the freezer, omit the cheese for now and add it when you are ready to thaw and use the sauce. You can also customize this recipe with different nuts, greens, cheese, and oil. Swap in walnuts, pecans, or pistachios for the pine nuts, and use parsley, arugula, or blanched kale in addition to or instead of basil. A sharp cheese like Cheddar or Gruyère can be subbed in for the Parmigiano-Reggiano, and avocado or nut oil can be used as alternatives to olive oil. You can further make this sauce your own creation by stirring in a pinch of smoky chile powder, black pepper, crushed red pepper flakes, or grated lemon zest after blending the pesto.  
Ramp Pesto
One of the quickest, easiest ways to cook with ramps is to make this quick pesto that highlights their garlicky onion flavor. You will use only the leaves for this pesto, so it's a good recipe to keep handy if you are pickling or otherwise just using the bulbs in another recipe. Blanching the greens will keep the color vibrant, but be sure to fully cool them down before making the pesto. Feel free to use walnuts or hazelnuts instead of pine nuts, or to mix in other greens like kale or parsley. Spoon this pesto over roasted or grilled vegetables, meat, or seafood, or toss it with cooked pasta.
8 Ways to Use Gremolata
What is gremolata? Typically, it's a pesto-like sauce made with parsley, olive oil, citrus zest and garlic. But we love to punch up the flavor and add walnuts, crushed red pepper and even horseradish. You can use gremolata as a topping for grilled meat or fish (we love snapper and lamb), or add a spoonful to creamy bisque or roasted veggies for a sophisticated flavor upgrade. We like to add green carrot tops into our gremolata for a zero-waste dish. Whether you're looking for a sophisticated side dish or want to add flavor to your favorite seafood, here are 9 amazing ways to use gremolata.
11 Pine Nut-Free Pesto Recipes
You don't need pine nuts to make an amazing pesto.
Pistachio-Oregano Pesto
Rating: Unrated 3276
This delicious, easy pesto, made with roasted pistachios and fresh oregano, is perfect with roasted, grilled, or steamed fish.
Mint Pesto
Mint and lamb are a classic pairing. Grace Parisi riffs on the match by kneading mint pesto into ground lamb, grilling the patties, then crumbling them into an orzo and feta salad. More Recipes With Mint