How to make a hand-chopped pesto

  • By Jess Dang
  • July 2, 2013

I know that a lot of you will be firing up the grill later this week to celebrate the 4th of July. Whether you’re grilling burgers, chicken, or vegetables, if you really want to up the flavor ante, you’ll have to go beyond marination. Clearly a tasty marinade provides a good start, but you also need a strong finish.

Today’s “How-To Tuesday” shows you how to make a hand-chopped pesto that will pair with absolutely everything you’re grilling this summer. And while you can use a food processor, there is something oh-so-rustic about doing it by hand. Plus, it’s a great way to practice your ninja-like knife skills.

hand chopped pesto

My favorite combination brings together garlic, parsley, sun-dried tomatoes, pine nuts, lemon juice, and olive oil. However, the sky’s the limit when it comes to hand-chopped pesto combinations. Use the video above as a how-to guide and then get creative. Here are some other ideas to get you started on your summer grilling goodness.

  • Great on pork: Shallots + parsley + prunes + walnuts
  • Great on slow-cooked meats: Garlic + cilantro + corn + pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • Great on veggies: Garlic + basil + sun-dried tomatoes + pine nuts + lemon zest
  • Great on lamb: Garlic + mint + sun-dried tomatoes + feta + lemon zest
  • Great on seafoods: Garlic + jalapeƱo + cilantro + mango + tomatoes

Make sure to share your creative combinations with us in a comment. Until then, chop and grill away!

Get our Meal Plans

The convenience of meal kits without the waste


Our Podcast: Strategies to become a smarter cook

Share the love!

Join our Community

Enjoy genius (& useful!) cooking tips in your inbox

How can we help you in the kitchen?

Join our Community

Enjoy genius (& useful!) cooking tips in your inbox

Sign up for the Cook Smarts Newsletter


Privacy Policy: We hate SPAM & promise to keep your email address safe.