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Summer Essential for Simple Dinners

Summer Essential for Simple Dinners

Stock Your Freezer with Presto Pesto 

Pesto is my go-to sauce to keep stocked in the freezer for easy summer dinners. Summer meals should be simple – spend more time playing outside and less time cooking! The dinner possibilities are endless when you have a few jars of Presto Pesto in the freezer. I recommend doubling the recipe and freezing in half-pint freezer-safe glass jars. 

Above photo: Presto Pesto, Sweet Potato Hummus, Salted Caramel Sprouted Almond Butter (page 269 in Rise & Run). 

All the meal possibilities with Pesto as the star:

  • Pesto Pasta Salad (penne, pesto, olive oil, seasonal veggies)
  • Pesto Spaghetti with Sardines (page 148 in RFCFES)
  • Homemade Pizza with Pesto (page 132 in RFCFES)
  • Pesto-Zucchini Superhero Muffins (page 83 in Rise & Run)
  • Slather it on anything grilled: chicken, steak, kabobs, veggies, etc 
  • Baked fish topped with Pesto (photo below)
  • Zucchini noodles with Pesto 
  • Pesto Yogurt Dip with crudité (page 175 in RFCFES)
  • Pesto Potato Salad (page 95 in RFES)
  • Pesto on sandwiches or make a Pesto Tuna Melt (page 107 in RFCFES)
  • Adds a flavor burst to scrambled eggs 
  • Put a spoonful on top of Power Bowls (page 122 in RFCFES)

So much goodness goes into this little jar of magic!! Pesto is high in anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting ingredients. 



  • 2 cups tightly packed basil, arugula, kale (stems removed) or combo 
  • 6-ounce wedge Parmesan, rind removed, quartered 
  • 1⁄2 cup roasted nuts (almonds, walnuts, cashews) or pumpkin seeds
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1⁄2 cup extra-virgin olive oil 
  • 1⁄4 cup lemon juice
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon fine sea salt 

In a food processor or high-speed blender, combine the greens, Parmesan, nuts or seeds, and garlic. Pulse until finely ground. Add the oil, lemon juice, and salt. Process until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed, until fully blended. 

Transfer to a widemouthed glass jar and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. 

Dairy-Free: Substitute 1/2 cup white beans (cannellini) and 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon white miso paste for the Parmesan. 

Baked cod filets and roasted summer veggies and potatoes topped with Presto Pesto. 

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