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A few years ago, I tasted carrot-top pesto, and the impact was startling and immediate. I’d known intellectually that pesto could be more than a pounded concoction of basil, pine nuts, oil, garlic, and cheese, but I suppose I hadn’t given its wider possibilities much thought. That pesto, enjoyed at a restaurant in Napa, opened up a whole new pesto-filled world.
Since then, it seems, the pesto parade has gained crazy momentum. Everywhere I look -- on menus, in cookbooks, in food blogs and magazines—pesto appears in ever more creative guises, especially in summer when a vast array of herbs and tender vegetables explode in gardens nationwide.
In Berkeley, Gather Restaurant serves a fennel top pesto. Café Pesto in Hawaii serves a green olive pesto and a Vietnamese coriander pesto. And here on iVillage you’ll find recipes for rocket (arugula) cashew pesto and broccoli-parsley pesto—just two among many pesto recipes on this site alone.
As for me, I’ve experimented with everything from cilantro-lime pesto to pesto made with Spanish manchego cheese.
Now it's your turn. Be bold, crack open the olive oil, and create some pesto magic of your own.
What foods to you like to prepare with pesto? Chime in below!