Make Pesto Sauce Variation Recipes, Gremolata, Chimichurri, Parsley

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 five pesto variation recipes provided below.

Homemade Pesto is a delight and is suitable with many dishes
Homemade Pesto is a delight and is suitable with many dishes | Source
See the recipe for Chimichurri Sauce, A South American sauce that resembles pesto.
See the recipe for Chimichurri Sauce, A South American sauce that resembles pesto. | Source
Gremolata only has three ingredients: garlic, parsley and lemon zest, but the combination is something special.
Gremolata only has three ingredients: garlic, parsley and lemon zest, but the combination is something special. | Source

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

  • 2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves (about 2 teaspoons) of garlic, crushed or finely minced
  • 1 tablespoon of grated lemon zest

Method

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

Chimichurri Sauce Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoon wine vinegar (red or white)
  • 1 cup (packed) fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves, finely chopped

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

  • 30 g (1 oz) coriander leaves
  • 90 g (3 oz) toasted hazelnuts
  • 90 g (3 oz) Parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4-5 tablespoons olive oil

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

  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cloves of garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 cup fresh mint leaves, well packed
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves, well packed

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

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 90g (3 oz) sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup basil (packed), finely minced
  • 1/3 cup Italian parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup Kalamata olives; pitted and finely chopped
  • 1 1/3 cup red capsicums, roasted and then finely chopped

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

  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup peanuts
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 cup mint leaves
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 cups basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup coriander leaves
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 small green chillies, seeded
  • 1 tablespoon ginger finely chopped

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.

Have you ever made pesto without Basil?

  • Yes
  • No
See results without voting

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

© 2014 Dr. John Anderson

More by this Author


Comments 1 comment

Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 2 years ago from The Beautiful South

Mm yum I sure have to try this! I hate store bought pesto sauces and have been thinking of trying my own and yours sounds delicious and the variety! Thank you for sharing it!

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working