Tomato pesto will add a burst of flavour to any dish – never throw out leftovers again!
1. Pack-a-punch pizza
Spread a pizza base with a couple of tablespoons of tomato pesto instead of pizza sauce. Top with thinly sliced vegies such as zucchini, eggplant, capsicum and mushrooms. Sprinkle with shredded mozzarella and bake at 200ºC until cheese is golden and vegies are cooked through.
2. Speedy crostini
Cut a bread stick or baguette into thin slices. Spread each slice with a little tomato pesto and top with a slice of bocconcini or mozzarella. Bake at 180ºC for 10 minutes, or until bread is crispy. Garnish with fresh basil for a quick and delicious snack.
3. Herby dressing
Place two tablespoons of pesto into a screw-top jar with one tablespoon each of white wine vinegar and olive oil. Shake well, then toss through a salad.
4. Sandwich spread
Replace table spread with tomato pesto on salad rolls and sandwiches. It’s also delicious with chicken, ham, tuna or roast beef.
5. Tomato ‘n’ tuna pasta
Stir tomato pesto through cooked penne or other pasta. Add a can of tuna slices, some diced capsicum and a couple of handfuls of baby spinach. Toss to combine, then serve sprinkled with parmesan. This is also delicious with shredded chicken.
6. Pesto mayo
Add pesto to your favourite reduced-fat mayonnaise along with a squeeze of lemon juice. Serve as a sauce with salmon or white fish fillets.
7. Stuffed mushrooms
Combine tomato pesto with fresh low-fat ricotta and finely shredded green onions. Remove stems from large flat mushrooms (or smaller mushrooms, if you prefer) and arrange on a lined baking tray, gill-side up. Top with a spoonful of ricotta mixture then bake for 20 minutes at 180°C, or until mushrooms are tender.
8. Scrummy scrolls
Make up a basic scone dough, omitting sugar, and roll out to form a large rectangle. Spread dough with tomato pesto, then sprinkle with reduced-fat grated tasty cheese. Roll dough up (like a Swiss roll), then cut into 2cm slices. Lay slices flat on a lined baking tray and bake at 180ºC for 15–20 minutes, until cooked through. Makes a delicious snack, or serve hot with a bowl of minestrone soup.
9. Baked chicken or fish
Place a chicken breast fillet or a piece of salmon or white fish onto a large square of baking paper. Spread with tomato pesto, then fold up paper to make a parcel. Bake fish at 180ºC for 10 minutes, or until it flakes with a fork. Bake chicken for about 20 minutes, or until cooked through. Serve with steamed vegetables or salad.
10. Vegie skewers
Cut firm tofu into 2cm cubes. Thread onto skewers with your favourite vegies – button mushrooms, onion wedges, chopped zucchini or capsicum. Brush with tomato pesto and grill until vegies are cooked to your liking. Serve with couscous.