Spicy Asian Pesto

This is my version of a spicy Asian pesto. It’s a fusion of Italian and Thai basil with hints of cilantro, mint, lime and Thai chili peppers. Even without cheese the ground roasted nuts (peanuts and pine nuts) in my opinion, makeup for the creaminess of the pesto. This spicy pesto makes a savory marinade for meat and fish. Next time, instead of squeezing fresh lime or lemon juice over grilled shrimp or salmon, try brushing it with this Asian pesto for a new, flavorful contrast. Can this spicy pesto be used as a condiment or spread on sandwiches? Absolutely!

Storing pesto. In a glass jar or air-tight plastic container, pesto can last up to a week in the refrigerator. Before placing pesto in the refrigerator, make sure oil has risen to the top layer. This will help act as a barrier and prolong the pesto’s life. It can also be frozen and last up to a year.

Click here for recipe…

Spicy Asian Pesto

makes 2 cups

1 cup Italian basil (packed)
5 green Thai chili peppers
1 cup Thai basil (loose)
¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup canola oil
¼ cup cilantro (packed)
¼ cup mint (loose)
½ head garlic
¾ cup peanuts (unsalted, dry roast)
¼ cup pine nuts (unsalted, dry roast)
1 lime – juicy only (use 1/8 cup first, more to taste up to 1/4 cup)
½ tsp. kosher salt (or to taste)

1. using food processor
In a food processor, first combine Italian basil, Thai basil, Thai chili peppers, cilantro, mint, garlic, peanuts, and pine nuts. Pulse until coarsely chopped. Next, add extra virgin olive oil, canola oil and lime juice. Process until all ingredients are incorporated and the level of smoothness is to your liking (my pesto pictured above is a tad bit coarse). Add salt to taste.

2. using mortar & pestle
First, finely pound/grind nuts. Set aside in medium mixing bowl. Next, pound/grind garlic and Thai chili peppers until texture is paste-like. Add garlic and Thai chili paste to mixing bowl. Then pound basil (Italian and Thai basil) and add to mixing bowl. Finally, add remaining ingredients (olive oil, canola oil and lime juice) to mixing bowl. Mix well until all ingredients are incorporated. Add salt to taste.

3. final steps
Pesto should be served immediately. For storing pesto, see paragraph above “Storing Pesto.”

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