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Macadamia Pesto

Macademia Pesto
Home made pesto using fresh basil leaves and macadamia nuts

Pesto is one of the most versatile foods around – it can be used as a dip (for chips and nachos), as a sauce (over grilled fish, pictured below), as a spread for bread (pictured below), as a base sauce for pizza and as a sauce for pasta. Hence to me, it is really handy to have a cupful of pesto lying around in the fridge.

Baked Salmon with Pesto
Pesto as a sauce over baked fish (check out the recipe here)

The typical ingredients for pesto is pine nuts and basil. But since I had extra leftover macadamia nuts, I decided to make pesto using macadamia nuts. The result is pretty and delicious!

(adapted from Williams-Sonoma: Sauces)
– 60g sweet basil leaves
– a few flat-leaf parsley leaves (gives the pesto an attractive vibrant green colour)
– 30g toasted macadamia nuts, chopped
– 2 cloves garlic, peeled
– 50g grated parmesan cheese
– 125ml extra-virgin olive oil
– sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper

You need a special type of food processor with a tube opening on top. I don’t have it so I used a normal blender together with a mortar and pestle.

Blend basil, parsley, nuts, garlic and cheese until well combined. With the blender motor still running, gradually pour in oil to achieve a thick, smooth consistency. If the pesto became too thick, add more oil. Since I do not have this special type of blender, I transfer the contents to a mortar and pestle after blending. Pound the ingredients using one hand while slowly pouring the oil with your other hand. Season with salt and pepper, or more cheese to taste. Keeps in fridge for about a week.

Recipe Notes
1. You can add 1 tsp balsamic vinegar if you like a slight tangy taste.
2. Pour a thin layer of olive oil over the surface to slow the discoloration.
3. You can also freeze the excess pesto in ice cube trays. Omit the cheese from the recipe and only add them when you thaw the pesto (tip from Simply Recipes). When freezing, secure the ice cube tray with cling wrap and once frozen, store the pesto cubes in ziplock bags in the freezer (tip from Instructables).

Cream of Portobello Mushroom Soup
Macadamia pesto spread on baguette … accompanying my portobello mushroom soup

Leave a Comment

44 Responses to “Macadamia Pesto”

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  1. Nasi Lemak Lover — May 25, 2010 @ 3:14 pm

    this sound healthy and nice click !


  2. tigerfish — May 25, 2010 @ 3:47 pm

    I like playing around with the nuts and herbs in pesto sauce too! Now you can mix them into pasta as well ;D

    A very versatile sauce indeed.


    • wiffy replied: — May 30th, 2010 @ 8:36 pm

      yes pesto pasta is delicious :)


  3. MaryMoh — May 25, 2010 @ 4:27 pm

    Beautiful pesto. Looks healthy and delicious. I have to try making it. Thanks for sharing.


  4. Alice — May 25, 2010 @ 4:57 pm

    Great combination! The colour is so lovely… I love it.


  5. Lia Chen — May 25, 2010 @ 4:58 pm

    Healthy and delicious pesto! I’m looking at your baked salmon with pesto on it. It looks as delicious as our ‘ikan pepes’ :D


    • wiffy replied: — May 30th, 2010 @ 8:37 pm

      Then I think I will like ikan pepes ;)


  6. pigpigscorner — May 25, 2010 @ 5:08 pm

    I love pesto too, it’s so versatile. I’ve never tried making pesto with other nuts other than pine nuts!


  7. Angie's Recipes — May 25, 2010 @ 5:28 pm

    I must try to make some pesto with macadamia nuts as yours looks so irresistible, esp. all over the salmon.


  8. Selba — May 25, 2010 @ 5:37 pm

    Love.. love.. love…. pesto!!! :)


  9. mochachocolatarita — May 25, 2010 @ 5:38 pm

    oh yummm i love pesto, but still waiting for my home grown basil to have enough leaves to make a sauce :D heheheh…thx for the recipe! :)


    • wiffy replied: — May 30th, 2010 @ 8:37 pm

      I waited till the plant died and I finally have to buy the basil from the supermarket :P hehe


  10. Susan — May 25, 2010 @ 8:02 pm

    Wow – just plain wow, Wiffy! Looks soooo good. Macadamia nuts must make it over-the-top rich. Great photos, too. :up:


    • wiffy replied: — May 30th, 2010 @ 8:38 pm

      Thanks darling! :) I’ve always love macadamia nuts and it’s extra delicious for it when made into pesto


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