Strawberry Pesto Pasta Salad
Unlike many pestos, this novel recipe does not rely on olive oil for thinning. You may wish to reserve a small amount of the pasta cooking water to thin as desired. Then you may serve additional pesto with the salad for optional drizzling.

Yields 4 servings.


  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1/3 cup toasted almonds, walnuts or pecans (I used almonds)
  • 1/3 cup packed fresh basil leaves
  • 3-5 fresh ripe strawberries, hulled (I used 5)
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and pepper to taste (I used a slightly rounded 1/4 teaspoon of salt and a few grinds of the pepper mill)


  • 1/2 pound whole wheat pasta (Genevieve’s family likes bowties), cooked according to package directions (I tossed with a teaspoon or two of olive oil after draining)
  • 1 cup strawberries, washed and sliced
  • 1 small cucumber, cubed or sliced
  • 1 can navy or cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/3 cup strawberry pesto (could substitute other favorite pesto)
  • Salad greens of your choice (I used spinach)
  • 10 fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • Optional garnishes: goat or feta cheese, avocado, walnuts, almonds or pecan


  1. For the pesto: Process the cheese, nuts, and basil using short pulses until they form a paste. Add the strawberries and olive oil and mix until smooth. Add salt and pepper and pulse once or twice.
  2. The pesto stores well in the refrigerator for a few days in a tightly lidded container. (Genevieve’s family spreads extra on toast.)
  3. For the salad: Combine all but the greens and basil.
  4. Chill for 45 minutes or so.
  5. Serve over greens, top with basil leaves, and add desired garnishes.


  • I mixed roughly chopped fresh spinach into the salad instead of serving over top.

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