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.
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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.
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).
Macadamia pesto spread on baguette … accompanying my portobello mushroom soup