When you think of pesto, what comes to mind? Your first thought is probably basil, and then maybe parmesan cheese and pine nuts. Yes, basil makes a delicious and classic tasting pesto, but I challenge you to think beyond basil!
As you’ll see in the recipe, for the “greens” part of this pesto, you can really use any type of green- from arugula, to cilantro, to mustard greens. Essentially, if you have wilting greens in the fridge or come across an excess of greens from the farmers market or your backyard that you don’t know what to do with – make pesto!
The same goes for cheese and nuts – you can go beyond parmesan and pine nuts. I love the rich, nuttiness of pinons (pine nuts), but they can be rather pricy, so you can experiment with other nuts or even sunflower or pumpkin seeds! I’ve made pesto with students in an elementary school, and to avoid the nut-allergy issues,
When working with schools in the past, to avoid any nut-allergy issues in schools, I’ve I used sunflower seeds, and it came out delicious (and kid-approved!)
And lastly, this recipe gives you the choice to use a mortar and pestle or a blender/food processor. If you have a mortar and pestle, use it – it will be worth it. For some reason, pesto made in one tastes better, and the flavors combine seamlessly. If not, no fear, your pesto will still taste great in a blender.