This Thai basil pesto, while a bit more exotic, can be used like you would classic basil pesto: on pasta, grilled meat, poultry, fish, or veggies.
You may have to make a visit to a nearby Asian market to find all the ingredients but it will be well worth it.
Yield: 2 cups
- 5 cups of lightly packed Thai basil leaves
- 1 cup of lightly packed cilantro leaves and thin stems
- 1/4 cup of Vietnamese cilantro (if available)
- Vietnamese cilantro has a flavor that is a cross between cilantro and mint, so if you are not able to find this herb, add three or four mint leaves to this recipe.
- 1 large Keffir lime leaf minced
- 1 tbsp grated fresh lemongrass
- 1 tbsp chopped dried chilis (or to taste)
- 1 cup toasted, unsalted peanuts
- 1 cup sunflower or safflower oil
- 1 tbsp fish sauce
- May be replaced with soy sauce
- Kosher salt to taste
- Pick the Thai basil and Vietnamese cilantro leaves off the stems, discard any discolored or wilting leaves, wash and drain three times; set aside.
- Remove the cilantro and thin stems off the thicker stems, discard any discolored or wilting leaves, wash and drain three times; set aside.
- Wash the Keffir lime leaf, dry, mince; set aside.
- Wash and dry one lemongrass stalk, cut off about 1 inch of the white part of stalk, mince; set aside.
- Chop 1 (or more) dried chili; set aside.
- Toast the peanuts if not already toasted; set aside.
- Place all the ingredients into a high-speed blender.
- Process until you have a smooth and creamy consistency.
- Pour into a medium sized mixing bowl and taste for seasoning:
- Season with more fish sauce or kosher salt.
- Stir to mix well.
- Pour into 2 1 cup plastic containers, cover, place one container in the fridge (use within 7 days) and the second in the freezer for up to six months.