Pesto is a magic ingredient that can make almost any food better. I love it on pasta, sandwiches, or a slice of homemade focaccia bread. A few days ago some friends and I were talking about going to The Old Spaghetti Factory, and someone reminded me of that restaurant’s yummy creamy pesto salad dressing. I decided to see if I could create a similar salad dressing, but with even more fresh pesto flavor.
Whenever I think of The Old Spaghetti Factory, it brings back memories, not just because of birthday and graduation dinners our family has had there, but because my husband and I both used to work there as waiters. If I ever waited on you, I apologize. I was really bad at it. Turns out I’m not much of a multi-tasker. But if I brought you a salad with creamy pesto dressing, that probably made your dining experience a little better.
To create your own homemade creamy pesto salad dressing, combine prepared pesto with buttermilk, mayonnaise, dried basil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Dried basil has its own distinctive flavor that compliments the fresh basil in the pesto. Buttermilk and lemon juice brighten up the flavor of this dressing.
My favorite pesto is from Costco. Costco’s pesto is tasty and inexpensive. Like everything else at Costco, it comes in a big package. After you open the jar, pesto stays fresh in the refrigerator for about two weeks. I can’t use up a whole Costco jar of pesto in two weeks, so I divide it into one-cup portions and store those in the freezer. Pesto will stay fresh in the freezer for six months.
Whisk all your creamy pesto salad dressing ingredients together until well blended. Taste the dressing and adjust the seasonings if needed. Pour into a sealed container or glass jar. This dressing will keep fresh in the refrigerator for about a week.
I like to serve this creamy pesto salad dressing with a simple salad of crisp lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, and whatever other veggies I have on hand. You could add cooked chicken, shrimp, garbanzo beans, kidney beans, or chopped hard boiled eggs for a more filling salad. Spicy pepperoncini would also complement this dressing.
Creamy pesto salad dressing is positively addictive! The bold, fresh flavor of this dressing brings salad veggies to life.
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