7 Vibrant Summer-ready Pesto Recipes
The Great British Food team
1. Risotto with Pesto, Peas & Watercress
Heat a large pan and melt 25g butter with a good glug of olive oil. Add a small diced onion, cook until softened then add 50g risotto rice and give it a good stir. Add 150ml white wine, and when it’s absorbed, make 300ml vegetable stock and add it to the rice one ladle at a time, waiting until each ladle is absorbed before you add the next. Stir in half a jar of pesto and 100g peas, and wait for the rice to fully cook. Season and serve with a handful of fresh watercress.
2. Mini Mozzarella Pesto Bites
For a simple way to wow your guests, slice the tops off 20 mini mozzarella balls. Spoon half a teaspoon of pesto onto the cut side and pop the tops back on. Arrange them on a platter, drizzle with olive oil and garnish with fresh basil leaves.
3. Pesto & Tomato Bruschetta
For a quick and simple lunch, lightly toast four slices of ciabatta. Spread one teaspoon of pesto across the top, add your favourite cheese, then grill until melted. Slice a handful of cherry tomatoes, place them on top of the cheesy ciabatta and garnish with fresh basil leaves. Serve with a light drizzle of olive oil.
4. Pesto Cheese On Toast
For a last-minute snack, lightly toast two slices of bread. Spread each slice with one teaspoon of pesto, top with your favourite grated cheese and grill until melted. Season with freshly cracked black pepper and serve.
5. Pasta with Pesto Courgette Sauce
For a delicious dinner, cook 400g pasta. Grate four courgettes. Heat a good glug of olive oil in a pan and fry the grated courgette for 10 minutes. Throw in three chopped garlic cloves and one teaspoon of chilli flakes. Cook for two minutes, then stir in a jar of pesto. When it’s ready, toss the cooked pasta into the courgettes along with a big spoonful of pasta water. Season and serve.
6. Mediterranean Roasted Vegetables with Pesto
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 6. Chop up two courgettes, one aubergine, two red onions, one bulb of fennel (with the top removed), one red pepper and one green pepper. Place in a bowl with three cloves of crushed garlic, one tablespoon of olive oil, one teaspoon of dried oregano, three tablespoons of pesto and black pepper. Mix well so that all of the vegetables are covered in the oil. Place on a baking tray and roast for 30 minutes, until all of the vegetables are cooked through and slightly charred.
7. Quick Mini Pesto Pizza
Preheat the oven to 220C/ 425F/Gas 7. Spread six mini pitta breads, split in half and lightly toasted, with a heaped teaspoon of Sacla’ Free From Basil Pesto. Sprinkle with your chosen toppings and scatter with 125g vegetarian mozzarella, torn into pieces. Cook in the oven for five to seven minutes – you’ll know it’s ready when the cheese has melted and is starting to bubble.
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