Pesto Sauce Variation Recipe Collection - Gremolata, Chimichurri, Parsley & Other Herbs

Basil pesto is nice, but there are several variations to try that involve using coriander, mint, oregano, orange juice, red capsicum and bell peppers.

This includes sauces closely related to pesto, such as Italian Gremolata, made with parsley, lemon zest, garlic. This light sauce is traditionally served with veal shank of ossobuco. It is also ideal for chicken, veal pork and lamb.

Another variation is Chimichurri, which is an Argentinean condiment or sauce that is, once again, quite similar to pesto, but with a different taste. It is made with flat-leaf parsley and oregano leaves.

There are many other variations to try that involve using nuts, orange juice, mint, olives and ginger.

Try something new next time you need a pesto with one of the superb collection of pesto variation recipesprovided below.

Also see the chart below which compares the nutrients in various pesto variations.

You can use frozen garlic to make pesto and other side serves and sauces
You can use frozen garlic to make pesto and other side serves and sauces. Source: Pixabay

Nutrients Comparisons between Leafy Fresh Herbs

The table below provides a comparison between the nutrients in 100g of Basil, Cilantro (Coriander), Parsley, Spearmint and Thyme. Perhaps surprisingly the most nutritious is parsley which has the higher levels than Basil for Vitamin C, Fiber, Niacin, Folate and Vitamin A. Basil is richer in some of the minerals. Overall Basin has the lowest nutrient levels of all the other four herbs shown in the table.

Homemade Italian Gremolata Recipe

This simile recipe only has three ingredients: garlic, parsley and lemon zest, but the combination is something special. Gremolate has a slightly bitter tangy taste that suits most meats: lamb, veal, pork, and chicken and also roast vegetables. Like pesto it can be used as a simple pasta sauce with some Parmesan.

Ingredients

Method

Toss all the minced and grated ingredients together in a small bowl and mince with a fork.

Chimichurri Sauce Recipe

Ingredients

Method

Finely chop the parsley, garlic, fresh oregano and transfer to a small bowl. Add the olive oil, red pepper flakes, pepper, salt and vinegar. Adjust the seasonings and serve immediately. It will keep a day of so in the fridge.

Coriander and Hazelnuts Pesto Recipe

Ingredients

Process the nuts, coriander and Parmesan cheese in a blender until smooth. Then slowly add the olive oil while processing slowly until well combined. Check and adjust the seasoning. Serve at room temperature.

Basil Orange and Mint Pesto Recipe

Ingredients

Method

Pulse all the ingredients, except for the olive oil into a paste. Then gradually add the olive until the mixture is smooth and well combined. Season with salt and pepper. Serve at room temperature.

Red Capsicum and Dried Tomatoes Pesto Recipe

Ingredients

Put the sun-dried tomatoes into a bowl and pour boiling water over them just to cover. Soak the dried tomatoes in hot water for 20-30 minutes. Then drain and chop finely. Combine with all the other ingredients except for the oil and vinegar. Process to a thick paste. Slowly add the vinegar and olive oil and process until smooth.

Spicy Asian Style Pesto Recipe with Peanuts and Chillies

Heat the oil in a small frying pan, Add the peanuts and fry until browned. Remove the nuts and reserved the oil. Pulse the peanuts in a blender to a rough paste. Then, add the ginger, chillies and garlic and blend to combine. Add the herbs and some of the oil that was reserved. Blend to a smooth consistency and then add the sugar, lemon juice and salt. Stir in the remaining oil and serve at room temperature. 

Basil and Lemon Gremolata Pesto Recipe

Ingredients

Method

Add all the ingredients into a bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Slowly add the oil and pulse until smooth.

Herb-Crusted Rack of Lamb with Homemade Gremolata Pesto Recipe

Ingredients

For the Lamb and Sauce

For the Gremolata Pesto

Method

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a heavy pan. Add the chopped carrot, celery and onion and cook over medium-high heat, stirring, until lightly browned (about 10 minutes). Add the chopped tomato and 1 tablespoon of the chopped garlic and cook until softened (about 5 minutes). Add the red wine, low-sodium beef broth and the reserved parsley and simmer over medium heat until reduced to a sauce of about 1 1/4 cups (about 1 hour). Strain the lamb sauce check the seasoning and set aside.

In a small bowl, combine the chopped thyme, chopped parsley and the remaining 2 tablespoons of garlic. Season the lamb racks with freshly ground black pepper and salt. Coat with the herb mixture, drizzle the lamb with olive oil and grill the lamb over medium-high heat, turning once, until browned all over (about 5 minutes). Transfer the lamb racks to a sturdy baking sheet. Roast the racks of lamb for about 15 minutes, until medium-rare. Let the racks rest for 15 minutes.

Make the gremolata pesto by toasting the pine nuts over moderate heat in a medium skillet, stirring, until they are golden (about 5 minutes). Transfer the toasted pine nuts to a blender, add the parsley leaves, garlic and grated lemon zest and pulse to combine well. Add the olive oil and process to form a smooth paste. Season the gremolata pesto with salt and pepper. When ready to serve reheat the sauce. Carve the racks of lamb into chops and serve the chops with the sauce and pesto.


Winter Greens Gremolata Pesto Recipe

Ingredients

Method

Wash the arugula, parsley, and kale. Add to a large pot of boiling water and blanch the greens for about 5 minutes. Allow all greens to cool, then form the greens into a ball and squeeze out the liquid. Place in food processor or blender bowl with the anchovy and garlic to a paste. Add the lemon juice and zest, capers, vinegar, and olive oil. Pulse to a thick course paste and season with salt, pepper and lemon juice as required. Store in a glass jar in the refrigerator until required.

Another Simple Pesto Recipe

Ingredients

Method

Add all the ingredients (except for the olive oil) to a food processor and pulse for about 1 minute. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil while pulsing.

You can make lost of variations. For example replace half the basil with arugula. Replace the pine nuts with walnuts or almonds. Replace the basil with cilantro. Replace the Parmesan with other cheese. Replace half the basil with spinach.



Chimichurri Peso Sauce Recipe

Ingredients

Method

Process oregano, jalapeno, red wine vinegar, pepper, red pepper flakes, salt, garlic, lemon juice, Parmesan cheese, pine nuts, basil, cilantro and parsley in a food processor until finely chopped. While the processor is running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil processing until smooth. Refrigerate until serving.

Parsley and Walnut Pesto Recipe

Ingredients

Method

Place all ingredients in a food processor and process until desired consistency is reached.


Peppery Arugula, Spinach and Walnuts Pesto Recipe

Ingredients

Method

Combine the basil, olive oil, arugula, parsley, walnuts and garlic in a food processor or blender. Process until a smooth paste forms. Add cheese, stock, salt and pepper., mix thoroughly and keep in the refrigerator until served

Basil and Almond Pesto Recipe

Ingredients

Method

Pulse the whole almonds and 1 garlic clove in a food processor or blender until coarsely chopped and well combined. Add the basil, Parmesan and olive oil and pulse briefly until just mixed. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

Pumpkin Pesto Recipe

Ingredients

Method

Put all the ingredients into a food processor and process until very smooth.


Best Ever Rich Homemade Pesto Recipe


Ingredients

Method

Heat a small heavy frying pan over moderate heat. Cook the unpeeled garlic cloves in the skillet for about 7 minutes until the garlic is spotted brown and soft. Set aside and let cool. Next place the pine nuts in the same skillet and cook over moderate heat for 4-5 minutes, stirring often, until light brown and fragrant and then set aside. Place basil leaves and parsley in a large zip-lock bag and bash the leaves with a mallet or rolling pin. Peel the cooled garlic and place in food processor, with the bruised basil, Parmesan, toasted pine nuts, parsley leaves, oil and salt to taste. Blend until just combined. Keep refrigerate until ready to serve.

Zucchini Pesto Recipe

Ingredients

Method

Thoroughly squeeze any excess moisture from the grated zucchini. Then, place zucchini in a food processor along with pine nuts, garlic, parmesan, basil, kale, spinach and season with salt and pepper. Pulse until chopped. Then slowly drizzle in the olive oil while running the food processor. Add more oil if required to achieve the desired consistency. Serve immediately as a pasta sauce or salad dressing.

Nutrient Comparison for a Variety of Herbs used for Pesto Variations

Serving Size (100g)
Basil
Cilantro (Coriander)
Parsley
Spearmint
Thyme
Calories (kcal)
18.87
25
26.32
52.63
83.33
Protein (g)
3.21
2.25
2.89
3.33
5.42
Total Fat (g)
0.57
0.5
0.79
0.7
1.67
Total Carbohydrates (g)
2.64
3.75
6.32
8.42
24.58
Dietary Fiber (g)
1.89
2.5
2.63
7.02
12.5
Vitamins
****
****
****
****
****
Vitamin C (mg)
18.87
27.5
134.21
14.04
158.33
Niacin (mg)
0.91
1.13
1.32
0.95
1.83
Pantothenic Acid (mg)
0.21
0.58
0.39
0.25
0.42
Vitamin B6 (mg)
0.15
0.15
0.08
0.16
0.33
Folate (mcg)
75.47
50
157.89
105.26
41.67
Vitamin A (IU)
5283.02
6750
8421.05
4052.63
4750
Minerals
****
****
****
****
****
Calcium (mg)
169.81
75
131.58
192.98
416.67
Iron (mg)
3.21
1.75
6.32
11.93
17.5
Magnesium (mg)
56.6
25
52.63
70.18
166.67
Phosphorus (mg)
56.6
50
52.63
52.63
125
Potassium (mg)
301.89
525
552.63
456.14
625
Zinc (mg)
0.75
0.5
1.05
1.05
1.67
Copper (mg)
0.38
0.23
0.16
0.25
0.54
Manganese (mg)
1.15
0.43
0.16
1.12
1.71




Garlic is the key ingredient for most pasta sauces.
Garlic is the key ingredient for most pasta sauces. Sauce: Pixabay Public Domain
Pesto Rosso and Pesto Verde.
Pesto Rosso and Pesto Verde. Sauce: Pixabay Public Domain
Garlic is the key ingredient for most pestos but you can use lots of other ingredients for delightful variations.
Garlic is the key ingredient for most pestos but you can use lots of other ingredients for delightful variations. Sauce: Pixabay Public Domain
Rocket pesto with pinenuts and ham.
Rocket pesto with pinenuts and ham. Sauce: Pixabay Public Domain
Pesto is a delightful sauce for pasta. Try these fabulous variations.
Pesto is a delightful sauce for pasta. Try these fabulous variations. Sauce: Pixabay Public Domain
A small dash of pesto adds that special something to many dishes.
A small dash of pesto adds that special something to many dishes. Sauce: Pixabay Public Domain
Spinach and almond pesto recipe.
Spinach and almond pesto recipe. Sauce: Pixabay Public Domain