summer in a jar

This lighter alternative to traditional pesto is super versatile. Obviously, it’s a delicious dressing for any salad, but you can also use it to add flavor to lighter mains like chicken or fish. Just like traditional pesto you can toss it with pasta or spread it on a sandwich, plus it lasts up to six months in the freezer, but i think the real joy comes from slopping it up with a slice of warm fresh bread. 

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  • Author: Liz Sloan



1 cup (packed) fresh basil leaves

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons parmesan
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
1 teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
¾ cup olive oil


Add all ingredients except olive oil to a food processor. Process for about 30 seconds and then slowly drizzle in olive oil while the processor is running. Store in the fridge. Bring to room temp to serve.


Freeze it for winter! Pesto vinaigrette can be frozen in an airtight container for up to 6 months. You can also divide your prepared pesto into the compartments of an ice cube tray and freeze. Once it’s frozen, remove the pesto cubes from the tray and put in a sealable plastic bag or airtight container. 

I actually think that the vinaigrette is more versatile than straight pesto. This is lovely on fish – we use it all of the time on salmon. It’s also a regular on chicken for me. It is great on a Caprese or Panzanella salad and just makes a darn good salad dressing on any salad!

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