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All About

Pesto

A topper for pastas, pizzas, and meats, pesto is an herb-based sauce that mixes basil, cheese, pine nuts, and olive oil. While fresh and delicious in its most basic form, more inventive pesto recipes include spicy mango, carrot-pistachio, and mint-parsley pesto. Find your perfect pesto here.

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Sweet potatoes are in my seasonal repertoire this time of year, so I'm always on the lookout for new ways to enjoy them. When roasting, leave the skins on for greater nutrition (and better texture). High heat muddies the fresh flavors of the herbs and lemon zest in pesto, so top it on just before serving.

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Detox Cred: With their pleasing nutty flavor, rice noodles are a nutritious, gluten-free alternative to wheat pasta. Use this pumped-up pesto to top eggs, beans, and whole grains. Broccoli's impressive amount of carotenoids sweep up cancer-inducing free radicals.

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Sauteed spinach gives this classic basil pesto a wintery feel. Hazelnuts bring out the basil's sweet side, and freshly grated Pecorino adds a savory tang that Parmesan can't match. This blend will wake up any sleepy omelet.

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This recipe was created with flexibility in mind, and is a great way to use up leftover ingredients. Adjust the quantity of the ingredients depending on what you have, the flavors you like, and the number you're serving. This photo shows three variations of ingredients: cilantro and almonds; parsley, walnut, and Parmesan cheese; and basil, pine nut, and Parmesan cheese.

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The addition of flaxseed gives this pasta favorite a healthy boost. This pesto will keep for a week in the refrigerator or up to a month in the freezer. To serve, bring the pesto to room temperature (never heat pesto) and add a little water if necessary to get the right consistency. Read more about the benefits of flaxseed.