Food & Drink

22 Times Pesto Made Everything Better

Pesto is one of the best parts of summer. Here are some recipes to get you excited.

Summertime means many things to us -- fresh corn, tomatoes, seafood, berries, and pesto. Pesto is one of those foods that has the ability to completely transform a dish. Whether it's livening up grilled seafood or topping spaghetti, pesto makes anything it touches turn to gold -- or, actually to a perfectly green goodness. Pesto's bright green color perfectly represents what's in store: a refreshing burst of flavor that's light, herbal and incredibly delicious.

Not only is pesto super versatile, you can also make a ton of different kinds of pesto. Classic pesto is pesto Genovese: garlic, pine nuts and fresh basil ground to a paste and mixed with olive oil and Parmesan cheese. That basic recipe can be adapted into so many wonderful iterations, using everything from cilantro or mint to spinach or watercress. You might sub pistachios or walnuts in for pine nuts, add lemon zest or sun-dried tomatoes. The possibilities are endless, and no matter what kind of pesto you make, it will undoubtedly taste good just about everything. Use it as your secret ingredient this summer to elevate the joys of simple, summer cooking to the next level.

Here are 22 ways to use pesto to get you started:

In a grilled cheese
Foodie Crush
Get the Garlicky Avocado Grilled Cheese with Tomato Pesto recipe from Foodie Crush
On eggs or in an omelet
Martha Stewart
Get the Classic Omelet with Spinach-Basil Pesto recipe from Martha Stewart
On sweet potatoes
Martha Stewart
On zucchini noodles
Two Peas and Their Pod
Get the Zucchini Noodles with Pesto from Two Peas and Their Pod and see here for more on vegetable noodles/zoodles/spiralizers
On gnocchi
Two Peas and Their Pod
Get the Crispy Gnocchi with Basil Pesto recipe from Two Peas and Their Pod
With quinoa
Get the Pesto Quinoa Salad from Macheesmo
On grilled seafood, like shrimp
Skinny Taste
Get the Grilled Pesto Shrimp Skewers recipe from Skinny Taste
On pizza
Brown Eyed Baker
Get the Portobello Pesto Pizza recipe from Brown Eyed Baker
On grilled bread
Get the Grilled Bread with Thyme Pesto and Preserved Lemon Cream recipe by fiveandspice from Food52
On artichokes
On chicken
Get the Chicken al Mattone with Thyme Pesto by Waverly from Food52
In paninis
Cook The Story
In twists and breadsticks
A Zesty Bite
Get the Prosciutto Pesto Pizza Twists recipe from A Zesty Bite
On potatoes
Naturally Ella
Get the Pesto Potato Skillet recipe from Naturally Ella
In croutons
The Beeorness
On pasta
Foodie Crush
Get the Pesto Pasta recipe from Foodie Crush
On so much pasta
Alexandra Cooks
Get the Pesto Pasta recipe from Alexandra Cooks
In a melt
Lemon Tree Dwelling
Get the Pesto Avocado Melt recipe from Lemon Tree Dwelling
With sausage and polenta
Bev Cooks
Get the Smoked Sausage and Polenta with Parsley Pasta recipe from Bev Cooks
On Brussels sprouts
A Steamy Kitchen
Get the Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Cranberry Pistachio Pesto recipe from A Steamy Kitchen
On flatbread
Verses From My Kitchen

Want to read more from HuffPost Taste? Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Tumblr.

Pesto Recipes