I skimp on the oil, keeping the calories down and making it a thicker, and use Brazil nuts instead of the traditional pinenuts. Brazil nuts are super healthy for you and I just read that they are considered a complete protein (here) woooah!
I like to get creative with this type of spread, I think you will have fun experimenting with the combinations too!
A few of my Favorite Combinations:
Mint and Pistachio is great with Lamb
Parsley/Cilantro (3 to 1 ratio), Yogurt and Almonds go well on Fish Tacos
Parsley, Feta and Walnuts on Moroccan Tangine
So I guess really there is nothing "pesto-y" about my version except that it is a combination of herbs, cheese and nuts. Traditionally pesto genovese (originally from Italy, Liguria) is made with basil, pine nuts, garlic, parmigiano and olive oil. The best pesto outside of Liguria (and I would know!) is at Farina in San Francisco's Mission District. Really, you will be licking your plate!
Base your choice of ingredients off of these ratios:
2 cups of Basil
2 cloves of garlic crushed
1/3 cups Brazil nuts
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup olive oil
Put the garlic in the food processor and pulse a few times
Add the basil in batches, pulsing each time
Add the nuts and continue to mix until well combined
While the blade is running pour in the olive oil
Add the Cheese, mix just a bit
Add the salt and pepper
Adjust the ingredients to your taste