The Game-Changing Ingredient You Should Add To Your Pesto

If you love pasta — and who doesn't? — then you might also love pesto. You'll know it as the bright green purée typically made from fresh herbs such as basil, pine nuts, grated Parmesan cheese, plenty of minced garlic, and extra-virgin olive oil. The perfect swap when you're craving a non-tomato-based sauce, pesto originated in Genoa, Italy, according to Delish. It's just as delicious spread across a sandwich or drizzled atop a pizza as it is tossed with penne.

Although most of us are probably most familiar with basil-and-parm pesto — the OG, according to Delish — there are so many ways to make this classic sauce. Cilantro makes a great alternative to basil, and nutritional yeast is a cheese-like option for vegan pesto. And if you're looking for a briny, salty addition to mellow pesto, then you´re going to want to try a fun add-in featured in recipe developer Miriam Hahn's recipe for bright and fresh pesto.

Punchy capers are the secret ingredient in this pesto

If you think you've tried all the pesto variations out there, you might want to check again. See if any you´ve whizzed together have included capers, the immature green buds of the caper bush that are typically salted or brined (via The Spruce Eats). These little nuggets of flavor are the surprising secret to recipe developer Miriam Hahn's bright and fresh pesto. This recipe also includes more standard ingredients such as fresh basil and pine nuts (this version is made sans Parmesan, for a vegan-friendly sauce).

"The secret ingredient is capers!" Hahn told Tasting Table. "They give this recipe a salty tang with a savory overlay. It is just enough to make this pesto pop!" Together with the fresh zest and juice of a lemon, the briny capers bring zinginess to this bright pesto. Hahn likes to spread it on toasts and top it with diced tomatoes for a quick version of bruschetta. So the next time you're craving pesto, pick up a jar of capers and prepare to wow your guests with a unique version that's sure to make an impression.