In the midst of holiday food and cookies galore, does anyone else feel like they could use a colorful salad right about now? This easy pesto salad would even be a great dish to bring along to your next potluck party, or a pretty addition to your holiday table this year. I served it with some simple cooked sauteed white fish, and we ended up putting the seafood right on top—it was a great combo! This would be great with grilled chicken or shrimp on top, as well. Whatever it takes to make sure we get enough greens this time of year!
Other Uses for Pesto
Pesto is one of my most favorite things to eat. I used to make it with all basil but found that the flavor is almost exactly the same when it’s made with half spinach—which I always seem to have on hand. There are all sorts of ways to use the pesto from this recipe besides just on a salad, such as:
- On crackers with sliced cheese
- Spread on a block of cream cheese and baked (for an appetizer)
- Used in place of tomato sauce on pizza
- As a spread on a sandwich (cold or grilled)
- Tossed in with fresh pasta
What’s your favorite way to use pesto?
2 thoughts on “White Bean Salad With Basil Pesto Dressing”
I lived on this in the summer, when I can get tomatoes and basil from my garden. Your idea for using spinach is brillant–it grows all winter here, whereas basil doesn’t (except for the pot I have indoors). I think I would use sun-dried tomatoes, even though I still have a few cherry tomatoes in the garden. The hot-house ones at the supermarket just aren’t worth it.
This is a flavorful, filling meal, and it’s quick and easy to boot.
I just tried a recipe for spinach pesto the other night. We stop eating basil in the fall when frost finally does in our plants. My recipe called for 2 cups of spinach with the addition of 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and the zest of 1 lemon. I think the lemon juice is key to brighten up the spinach, when no basil is present. Plus salt and pepper of course. I also use walnuts instead of pine nuts to save money and added some pasta water to thin it out as I served it on pasta.