There’s a world of pesto to explore beyond classic basil pesto. Vary herbs, cheeses, and nuts to your heart’s content, or leave out cheese or nuts for a different effect.

“Once basil season is over, I stick with parsley for my pesto,” says escondido123. “Sometimes there’s no garlic, sometimes walnuts or pecans. The main thing I’ve learned is to thin the pesto with pasta water before tossing with the pasta. It makes for a lighter coating that doesn’t clump.” writerinla uses sunflower seeds in place of pine nuts in pesto. “It’s a less expensive option and makes the flavor nuttier. I buy them raw and toast them right before making the pesto,” he says.

“I make a pesto with cilantro, garlic, shallots, lime juice, olive oil, and toasted pecans,” says Deborah. goodhealthgourmet makes pesto from cilantro, parsley, lemon, Cotija cheese, oil, garlic, and toasted pumpkin seeds. “Sage pesto was a huge surprise and wonderful rubbed on pork tenderloin,” says HillJ.

Hounds make pesto from vegetables, as well as herbs. Emme cooks finely diced wild mushrooms and shallots with a bit of garlic, then blends them with walnuts, parsley, and olive oil. rcallner makes a simple kale pesto by removing the stems from a bunch of kale and cooking the chopped leaves in boiling water for 10 minutes. Shock the kale with cold water, squeeze dry, and blend in a food processor with garlic, salt to taste, and enough olive oil to make a paste consistency. “It’s very simple but crazy good,” says rcallner.

Discuss: variations of pesto?

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