Thursday, 7 June 2012

Hey Pesto!

SO lately I have been in the depths of study... not the depths actually.. more leaving the shallows as I finally exit my Masters degree (thats right.. it got a capital letter!). During this time I find it pretty hard to sit still. This ir mostly due to my sitting so often, typing, reading, marking, editing..... blogging. I find myself doing unnecessary things like making pesto for dinner from scratch. Now friends its not that this recipe is challenging at all... its that I have other things I should be doing! BUT the fresh green addition to  my salad as I sit on the couch marking has really brightened my day. SO I hope you give it a shot too.

Macadamia, Coriander and Chili Pesto

You will need to find yourself a blender, don't believe what they say- you don't need an expensive one. Mine cost forty dollars two years ago and I've never had  problem with it. I even use it to crush ice now and then. In this blender place your dry ingredients, I'd start with the nuts... traditionally you would use pine nuts, but of course mine is a macadamia base. I used about 300gms worth. Blend to a consistency you would like to eat. I LOVE finding the odd chunky nut piece in mine, so I leave mine quite rough. Then add two birds eyes chilli's. Mine were fresh from the garden theses winter chilli's are not particularly hot but give the paste a lovely warm spice. Then add two bunches of coriander, only the white parts of the roots removed, most of the flavour is trapped in the green coriander stem. Blend blend blend. At this stage you will probably notice that the blender isn't doing its smoothest job of combining them, remove the insert from your blender lid and while blending on a slow speed add olive oil. It is a little scary how much oil the nuts will soak up - don't get too stressed, the flavour will be worth it. You only need a small teaspoon of good pesto to set a dish buzzing so don't be mean with the natural fats! 

Your Pesto will start to come together and slowly change colour to a rich green. Once it is nice and pliable turn the blender off and turn in to a mixing bowl. have a little taste? Its not quite there it? What it is missing is a good squeeze of lemon juice, a FAT pinch of salt and a generous crack of pepper. Combine these through to taste. DADAAAH! isn't that magic? I hope it brings a little fun back in to your winter meals. I have used it as a topping for pumpkin soup, a dressing for salad, served it as a dip or of course as a sauce for a rather racy summer pasta. Enjoy my lovelies, Grace xx