Perfect Pesto for St. Patrick's Day

pesto_love

You don’t have to be Italian to love the flavor of pesto.  There is nothing quite like the fragrant, brightly flavored combination of basil, garlic, olive oil, parmesan cheese and pine nuts all blended into a creamy paste that makes a light and delicious pasta sauce. And it’s healthy, too! You get healthy fats from the olive oil and pine nuts, active compounds in garlic help fight infection and high blood pressure and basil provides anti-inflammatory properties and magnesium (good for your heart). 

This easy-to-make and super flexible sauce can also be customized in a myriad of ways.  Swap the basil for spinach and the pine nuts for walnuts to make a pesto that packs a little punch of iron.. Or try swapping the basil for arugula and adding a little fresh squeezed lemon juice for a version that has a little zing to it.

While we love a hearty dish of hot pasta dressed in pesto, we also enjoy pesto in a few of these not-so-traditional ways:

Lemon Pesto Salad Dressing (created by our co-founder, Carla) 

Pesto and hummus as a sandwich or wrap spread

Mixed into chicken salad

Pesto in place of the tomato sauce on a pizza

Pesto drizzled over a bowl of hot tomato soup

Pesto smeared on grilled fish  

Pesto mixed into mini frittatas for breakfast  

Pesto tossed with spiralized veggies

Here are a few recipe links (and a Thrive & Dine original recipe to download!). Which will be your favorite?

Kale Walnut Pesto (created by our co-founder, Linda)

Traditional Pesto    

Arugula Pesto

Are you a pesto-lover? Do you have a favorite recipe or creative use for pesto? Try some of these combinations and let us know what you liked best!  Or create your own and share your results with us…. we love to see what our readers are up to in the kitchen!

 

(resources: authoritynutrition.com, whfoods.com)