With its clean, bright flavor and brilliant green color, flat-leaf, or Italian, parsley makes a versatile herb pesto. It is inexpensive, especially when basil is not in its peak season. For an interesting combination if basil is available, replace ½ cup of the parsley with the same amount of basil.  2 cups packed fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley sprigs   (you can use some of your basil to complete the recipe, if you don't have enough parsley!) 3 to 4 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil 3 Tbsp. pistachios, walnuts, or pine nuts, lightly toasted 3 Tbsp. freshly grated Parmesan or romano cheese 2 garlic cloves, finely minced

In a blender or food processor, place the parsley, nuts, and garlic. Whirl until finely minced. Add the oil and cheese, and process until blended. Transfer to a small bowl, cover, and chill.

Makes about ¾ cup.

adapted from recipe found in Pesto by Lou Siebert Pappas, Chronicle Books, San Francisco; 1994