Any herb may be substituted for basil and even kale and spinach have been known to turn up in a pesto. Be creative and use your pesto with more than pasta. Making pesto with different herbs uses the typical basil recipe but sometimes with a few changes for the nuts or cheese or change things up your own way. Here are some other herbs to use in pesto and ideas on how to use them.
Basic Fresh Herb Pesto
Prep and Cook time: 20 min Yield: about 1 C
2 C fresh basil leaves or any other herb or combo of herbs, packed (can sub half the herb leaves with baby spinach)
1/2 C freshly grated Romano or Parmesan cheese (about ¼ C)
1/2 C extra virgin olive oil
1/3 c pine nuts (can sub other chopped nuts or leave out)
3 garlic cloves, minced (about 3 tsp)
1/4 tsp salt and pepper
Place the basil leaves and pine nuts in the bowl of a food processor and pulse several times. Add the garlic and cheese and pulse several more times. Scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula. While the food processor is running, slowly add the olive oil in a small steady stream. Adding the olive oil slowly while the processor is running, will help it emulsify and help keep the olive oil from separating. Occasionally stop to scrape down the sides of the food processor. Stir in salt and black pepper. Store in a glass container in the refrigerator for up to a week. Put a thin layer of oil on the top to keep it from turning brown.