Although Robin did not grow up with pesto, she has grown to love the versatility of it. With this recipe, we go beyond the traditional basil pesto
and make an asian-inspired “pesto”. Recently we saw a “Simply Ming” episode where chef Ming Tsai made an Asian Pesto and then used it on shellfish. We vary quantities and some of the ingredients based on our supplies. The result is a fabulous pesto that is great to have on hand to jazz up simply prepared fish or chicken dishes, noodles, or soups.
jarred, hot pickled, sliced
roasted, unsalted, peanuts
kosher, or to taste
fresh, mix of thai and sweet basils
fresh leaves and stems
The most time consuming part of making pesto is cleaning and gathering the herbs. We have on hand in our garden and fridge basil, thai basil, mint, and cilantro. After we clean them in the salad spinner [howto:salad] and remove the tough stems of the basils and mint we have 2 ounces of herbs. This is about 2 cups of herbs, gently packed. This recipe yields about ¾ cup of asian-style pesto.
In our food processor, we put the garlic, ginger, pickled jalapeño slices, peanuts, and the salt and grind up for about 10 seconds. Next, we add the cleaned herbs and pulse about 10 times until they are chopped. Using the microplane, we add the zest of the lime half to the processor and then we squeeze in the juice. Then we turn on the processor and stream in most of the oil. We turn off the processor and scrape down the pesto. We drizzle in the rest of the oil with the machine running and then we are ready. We taste for salt, add a little more, and add some freshly ground black pepper. We serve some of the pesto in prep bowls and the rest is stored in a ramekin, covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated (we may even freeze some).