Going Green

Traditionally made with basil, pesto can be made with almost any edible green leaf or herb. Paired with whatever nuts or seeds and cheeses you have on hand, you can create your own version of pesto in minutes.

Going Green

Spring Pesto Pasta

Serves 4
Spring Pesto Pasta

Ingredients

8 ounces campanelle or penne pasta
8 fresh asparagus spears, ends trimmed
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
1 cup pesto (see recipe)
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
Zest of 1 lemon, optional (reserve it from pesto making before juicing the lemon)
Freshly grated parmesan cheese

Directions

 

Cook the pasta in salted water to al dente, according to package instructions. Once the pasta is done, drain and reserve 1 cup of the pasta cooking liquid. While the pasta is cooking, prepare the vegetables. Cut the asparagus spears on the diagonal into 1 1/2-inch-long pieces. Heat a large skillet over medium. Once the skillet is hot, add the oil and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan. Add the asparagus and cook for 5 minutes, or until bright green and crisp but tender. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Transfer to asparagus to a plate and set aside. Add the remaining oil to the skillet. Sauté the mushrooms over medium heat until they are lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Remove from the skillet. Add the pasta to the skillet along with the pesto and enough of the pasta cooking water to make a creamy sauce. Mix in the cooked asparagus, mushrooms, thawed peas, tomatoes and lemon zest. Cook over medium low, mixing gently, just until hot. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a serving dish. Garnish with freshly grated parmesan cheese.

 




Pesto Chicken Wreath

Serves 8
Pesto Chicken Wreath

Ingredients

8 ounces room-temperature cream cheese
1/2 cup pesto (see recipe)
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2 cups cooked, shredded chicken
2 packages refrigerated crescent rolls
1 egg white, whisked

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375°F. In a mixer bowl, combine the cream cheese and pesto. Mix with an electric mixer until well combined. Add the mozzarella cheese and chicken and mix until just combined. Open the crescent rolls, separate the triangles and arrange them on a pizza stone or on a metal pizza pan lined with parchment paper. The pointed end of each crescent should face outward; the base of the triangles should overlap. Use a rolling pin to lightly seal the crescents together and smooth out the seams. Spoon the pesto mixture onto wide part of the dough. Gently lift the pointed end of the crescent dough over top of the filling; tuck the tip of the dough under the circle at the center at the center; continue with each triangle to create a ring shape. Brush the surface of the crescent dough with the egg white. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown.




Pesto - your way

Yields approximately 1 1/2 cups
Pesto - your way

Ingredients

4 cups greens such as kale, arugula, spinach, parsley, mint or basil
1/2 cup cheese such as fresh parmesan, asiago, feta, blue cheese or goat cheese
1/4 cup seeds or nuts such as pine nuts, walnuts, almonds, pistachios or pumpkin seeds
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 lemon, juiced
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 cup oil such as olive, walnut, avocado, almond or grapeseed

Directions

Place first 6 ingredients in food process and process. With the food processor running, slowly add the oil. Process until smooth. Transfer to a storage container and refrigerate.

Click here to watch a step-by-step video how to make this recipe!