Pesto Cheese Straws

Pesto Cheese Straws

This was a banner year for the basil in our garden, so of course I set out to make as much pesto as I could. But while my food processor whirred and whirred week after week, I began to wonder about the different ways to eat all this green goodness. Yes, we mix it with a cup of curly pasta for a quick lunch. On occasion we stir a spoonful into a splash of oil and vinegar for a tasty salad dressing. There’s always pesto pizza or pesto-topped toast. But when my daughter brought this recipe home from a cookbook she happened upon at the library, I was thrilled. A search around my shelves and the web turned up lots of pesto cheese straw recipes but none quite like this. We’ve made it a couple times and we all agree: It’s a hit!

Inspired by The Cookbook for Girls by DK Publishing


  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 tsp. fine sea salt
  • 1/2 cup chilled butter, cut into small cubes
  • 1/2 cup of gruyère or cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • 1 medium egg, plus 1 egg yolk
  • 3 Tbsp. pesto


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Mix together flour and salt.
  3. Add butter. Cut in with knives or hands until it looks like fine bread crumbs.
  4. Stir in the cheeses.
  5. Beat together the egg and yolk, then stir them into the flour. Add pesto.
  6. Mix until the dough holds together enough to form a ball.
  7. Roll out dough onto a piece of parchment paper sprinkled with flour until the dough is roughly an 11 x 9-inch rectangle. Cut in half lengthwise and then cut each half into about 15 straws.
  8. Place straws on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Put in freezer and chill for 15 minutes.
  9. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes.
  10. Cool for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack or serving dish.