Traditionally, pesto is made of basil leaves, pine nuts, Parmesan and Pecorino cheese, garlic, salt and olive oil. It is a condiment native to Italy. The ingredients are pounded in a mortar and pestle (or a food processor) until a creamy consistency is reached. Transfer the pesto to a glass jar topped with a layer of olive oil. It can be stored in the refrigerator for over two weeks.
Basil leaves can be substituted with mint, parsley, marjoram, or any soft green leafy herbs, while pine nuts can be replaced by almonds, pecan, walnut, sunflower or pumpkin seeds. Make your own version of pesto by varying the ingredients. It is a versatile condiment that works well with bread, soup, pasta, and protein like steak and chicken.