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THE NIBBLE’s Gourmet News & Views

Trends, Products & Items Of Note In The World Of Specialty Foods

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TIP OF THE DAY: Pesto Cheese Spread

Think of pesto, and it evokes different recipe ideas. You can use this versatile sauce and condiment—a blend of basil,* olive oil, pine nuts and Parmesan cheese—for:

  • Bread Dipper & Bruschetta: Use pesto as a bread dipper or as a bruschetta topping.
  • Condiment: Pesto is a great condiment for fish, meat, sandwiches and vegetables.
  • Dip: Serve pesto as the dip, or mix it into a creamy base (mayonnaise, sour cream, yogurt).
  • Pasta, Rice, Potatoes: Sauce your pasta with pesto and make “pesto rice” and “pesto potatoes.”
  • Salad: Use pesto as your salad dressing or add it to a creamy dressing.
  • Soup: Drizzle pesto as a soup garnish.
    So how about pesto and cheese?

    Some cheese makers add pesto to their curds to produce beauties such as the bright green Gouda, Basiron Pesto, and Pesto Jack, a yellow cheese with flecks of chopped basil. You can also find fresh goat cheese logs with pesto.

    It’s easy to make your own pesto cheese spread.


    Pesto mixed with soft goat cheese. Photo courtesy Vermont Creamery.


    Use fresh, soft cheeses like cottage cheese, cream cheese, fromage blanc, goat cheese (chèvre), quark, queso blanco and ricotta. Each cheese produces a different result, based on its structure.

  • Adding pesto to cottage cheese, cream cheese, goat cheese, queso blanco and ricotta produces a textured spread.
  • Adding pesto to fromage blanc and quark produces more of a dip or sauce.

    A slice of fresh goat cheese: Substitute the
    gremolata for pesto. Photo courtesy Smoking



    You can cut slices from a goat cheese log, such as in the photo at left, and turn it into an individual serving. For a cheese course, serve it with a side of crostini or toasted, sliced baguette. For a salad and cheese course, serve it atop a bed of greens.

    Instead of the topping of gremolata (choppped parsley andother green herbs, lemon zest and garlic) shown in the photo, pour pesto over the cheese.

    Make your own pesto with this easy recipe.

    Here’s the history of pesto.

    Our favorite pesto sauces.


    *Arugula, cilanto, red pepper or other vegetable can be substituted for basil; walnuts or other nuts can replace the pine nuts.


    Related Food Videos: For more food videos, check out The Nibble's Food Video Collection.

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