Thai Basil Pesto

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

Miz for Thai basil pesto lr-9911

Ingredients:

  • 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

Preparation:

  • 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.

Make:

  • 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.

Enjoy!

Miz for Thai basil pesto lr-9911-2

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