I’ve lost any pesto inhibitions, if I ever had any. Since a traditional pesto is basil leaves, pounded or pureed with a little garlic, pine nuts, some grated Parmesan cheese and extra virgin olive oil, there’s really not one element you can’t swap out for something similar. I used every herb I could get my hands on to get very different pesto flavours, and in the case of the garlic scape pesto, the scapes served as both garlic and greens! I varied the nuts and cheeses in each pesto but you could even use different oils. Using a little hazelnut oil or a drop or two of sesame oil would change things pretty drastically, and herb-flavoured oils might be a nice way to add a certain je ne said quoi to a standard basil pesto.

Both the taste and the colour of pestos vary depending on what’s in them, but a thin layer of oil on top of finished pestos (which freeze so well and thaw on the counter in just a couple of hours, by the way) helps keep oxygen away and your greens vibrant. They’ll still dull and darken a little but it’s nothing a good stir before serving can’t fix. And speaking of serving, what can’t you use pesto on, really? Pasta is obvious, crostinis are perfect for summer and no-cook nights, and they’re great on grilled or roasted vegetables, polenta, in soups, stirred through couscous, eaten straight from the bowl…