When I pruned my basil plants last week, I asked on my Instagram what I should do with the basil. A few people made a suggestion and I went with the basic (*reads homemade pesto*) because I’m basic like that.
Nah, actually I had quite a big harvest and I thought it’d be good to have half my dinner sorted for the day.
As you might already know, pesto is a sauce that’s very quick and easy to make. It’s great with pasta, spread on toast, and even in soups. Traditionally, pesto is made with pine nuts. But since I live in Thailand where you have to make a bit of an effort to find them, I usually swap them for cashews. I’ve made pesto with cashews a few times already and it has always turned out beautiful. You can’t really taste the difference because the basil and garlic have a much stronger flavor than the cashews.
In terms of method, many have said that it’s best to make pesto in a mortar with a pestle because the basil will release more fragrance that way. However, I tried and found that it takes too long and that you’d have to be “in” for a good arm workout! So normally I just use my blender or food processor.
A THAI-INSPIRED HOMEMADE PESTO
While I said earlier that I went basic with my basil, this pesto recipe is actually not that basic because I Thai-ified it a little bit!
On top of the usual ingredients, I added some Thai red curry paste which gave this pesto an extra kick I actually really enjoyed and hope you would too. I could taste the herbs and spices that go into the Thai red curry paste, but it wasn’t overpowering at all. Its flavor blended really well with basil. Also, the amount suggested in this recipe is just enough for you to taste it without making the pesto too hot. If you’re unsure about the heat, start with a smaller amount and slowly increase until you’ve reached your preferred level of heat.
PESTO STORING AND FREEZING INSTRUCTIONS
If you’re going to make this pesto ahead of time or you have some leftovers, you can store it in a tightly sealed jar in the refrigerator for up to one week. Alternatively, you can also freeze them in an ice tray, which I highly recommend. This way you can thaw small portions at a time and will always have a Thai-inspired homemade pesto ready to go on your lazy days!
OTHER RECIPES YOU MIGHT ENJOY:
Healthy Savory Purple Sweet Potato Spread/Hummus
Three-Step Thai Hot & Sour Salad Dressing
Tofu Salad with Refreshing Honey Yuzu Dressing
Thai Red Curry Cashew Pesto Recipe
- 1 tablespoon + ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ½ tablespoon Thai red curry paste
- ½ cup cashews
- 2½ cups basil leaves
- 5 cloves garlic
- ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- Add 1 tablespoon of oil to a pan over medium-low heat and stir-fry the curry paste until fragrant.
- Add the cashews and cook with the curry paste for about 45 seconds. The cashews burn very easily so be careful not to burn them!
- Blend the cashews, basil, garlic and parmesan in a blender or food processor. Slowly pour in ½ cup of oil while still blending.
- Scrape down the sides, then add lemon juice and blend until smooth.
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