Pesto has a plethora of possibilities. It can be made any time of year, and all you need are the ingredients, and a blender, grinder, mortar and pestle, or simply two stones!
Start with three ingredients:
- A GREEN - this can be basil, as is traditional, or fennel, carrot greens, cilantro, spinach, kale, turnip/radish greens, even mint. If it's leafy and green, you can use it. Stalks and stems are fine, too, if you have a strong mixer. Feel free to combine different ones, too.
- A NUT OR SEED - purists use pine nuts (preferably toasted), but I love walnuts and especially cashews, which make it creamy. Hemp seeds, sesame, flax, almonds (soaked to soften for grinding), or any other shelled nut or seed would likely work. A mix of nuts and seeds can give you interesting texture.
- AN OIL - olive is nice and traditional, but sesame, or coconut, or even canola will do in a pinch. If you are using a strongly flavored herb, you may wish to use a lighter oil. Don't want fat? Leave it out and use water.
- NICETIES - some things are nice to have, but not strictly necessary. Garlic, for example, and parmesan cheese, or white miso, which makes a good substitute. You may wish to add salt to taste, of course, and a little cayenne pepper for kick. I've been known to add jalapeños, but you can also use other types of cheeses (including vegan ones), and exotics like spices or cocoa.
Like granola, the pestobilities are endless!