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What to do with pesto

Here are some ideas for using pesto in cooking.

There are endless ways to use pesto but as it can have a strong flavour, it is often partnered with more subtle ingredients.

Using pesto as a dip is a quick way to provide nibbles, but serve the whole container and you may be getting similar energy as you would if you served a large packet of chips!

If you’re going to have pesto as a dip, serve it with low-fat choices such as low-fat crackers, bread sticks, vegetable sticks or grainy bread cut in chunky pieces. Putting a small knife in the pesto pot will encourage spreading rather than dipping (so you’ll eat less per cracker).

Better still, try mixing some of the pesto through cottage cheese or natural yoghurt. This will give you a lower fat dip without losing that wonderful pesto flavour.

Note: Start with a little and add more to taste.

  • With pasta – toss it through the hot pasta and add roasted or lightly cooked vegetables.
  • Spread on bread or pizza base and add your favourite toppings.
  • Spread lightly on fish before cooking or include in a marinade for BBQ meats.
  • Spread on tomatoes or courgettes sliced lengthwise, then bake in the oven.
  • Use as a garnish in soups.
  • Add a little to a salad dressing for a different flavour.
  • Mix with low-fat cream cheese, spread on chicken and bake in filo pastry.
First published: Nov 2007



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