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Traditional pesto is made from basil, garlic, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese and olive oil. In our house, this fragrant paste is served with pasta, grilled meat, tomato salad, and white fish.
But while traditional pesto demands fresh basil, it does not mean that other herbs cannot perform equally well. Experiment with other combinations of herbs, nuts and even oils.
Watercress, garlic and walnuts make an interesting, earthy combination. Try it with fresh wholemeal pasta or pork chops. Watercress and pine nuts make for a cleaner paste, good with new potatoes.
Parsley, garlic and hazelnut pesto, with Parmesan and hazelnut oil, makes a vibrant sauce for grilled cod or halibut.
Coriander (cilantro) pesto, made with pine nuts and a hint of cinnamon or cumin, is sensational with steamed new carrots.