Spring Pesto, 3 Ways

Pesto is not just for summer! Enjoy these cool season pestos as a base for pizza, a dip for bread, or to toss with pasta or roasted vegetables. Use pesto to marinate chicken or portobello mushrooms before grilling or broiling, or use as a sauce to top grilled or broiled meat, fish, or vegetables. Pesto is also a nice addition stirred into a bowl of hot vegetable or bean soup and will take your grilled cheeses to the next level. Use whatever you have on hand and change up the greens, nuts, and cheeses used. Omit the cheese to make the pestos vegan. Find plenty of local greens and maybe some fresh spring garlic at any of Arizona's farmers markets or CSAs!

Arugula pesto

The process is the same for any variation of pesto. Start out by placing all the ingredients in a blender or food processor and season generously with salt, fresh black pepper, and red pepper flakes as desired. Blend until completely smooth. Add more olive oil, or a few tablespoons of water as necessary to achieve the desired consistency. Pesto can keep in the refrigerator for up to a week, just allow to warm up to room temperature stir before using. Use the following combinations to get your creative pestos flowing!

Spinach Cilantro Pesto 1 c spinach 1 c cilantro 2 cloves garlic, peeled, or more to tasteAsparagus with zesty balsamic pesto vinaigrette ¼ c pepitas (hulled pumpkin seeds), toasted first if desired ½ c olive oil, or more to achieve thinner pesto 1 to 2 tbs water as needed 2 tbs queso fresco (optional) Juice of one lemon Red pepper flakes Salt and pepper

 

Any Herb Pesto 2 c mixed herbs such as tarragon, parsleyPesto soup, rosemary, thyme, sage, fennel, dill, etc. 2 cloves garlic, peeled, or more to taste ¼ c pine nuts, toasted first if desired ½ c olive oil, or more to achieve thinner pesto 1 to 2 tbs water as needed 2 tbs parmesan, grated (optional) Juice of one lemon Red pepper flakes Salt and pepper

 

Arugula Pesto 2 c arugula 2 cloves garlic, peeled, or more to tastePesto pizza ¼ c pecans or walnuts, toasted first if desired ½ c olive oil, or more to achieve thinner pesto 1 to 2 tbs water as needed 2 tbs feta or goat cheese (optional) Juice of one lemon Red pepper flakes Salt and pepper