Cashew Nut Pesto
Why we love this Cashew Nut Pesto
I have been obsessed with Basil for the past few weeks. In fact so much that I decided to grow my own. I dream of a constant supply of basil right at home. I just can't get enough of its fresh smell. I have also been obsessed with cashew nuts for quite a while. I top most of my meals with it and I never seem to get tired of it. So combining my 2 current obsessions to make a pesto sounded like a great idea.
I usually make pesto with my beloved food processor but traditionally, the recipe calls for a mortar and pestle. I have heard so much praise about it that I decided to buy one out of curiosity. And it is worth every penny, the result blew my mind. This method extracts the absolute flavours of each ingredients. You'll end up with a pesto full of flavours where you can taste every single ingredient: the essence of the basil, the nutty flavour of the cashew nut , the garlic, the strong delicious taste of the olive oil. Beautiful !
This pesto sauce is perfect with pasta or zucchini noodles. Also a great spread on a toast or as a dip for crunchy veggies.
Pesto typically calls for fresh basil, pine nuts and olive oil. But you can explore and reinvent the classic recipe to suit your own preferences. If you fancy a change from basil, use spinach, kale or parsley. Walnuts or almonds instead of pine nuts. Sunflower or flaxseed oil instead of Olive oil. You could also omit the cheese. Simply do as you'd like.
To make this recipe , as per title, I have used roasted cashew nuts. Roasting your nuts will enhance their nutty flavour. I stuck with basil and olive Oil. The beauty of this flavoured oil in pesto is undeniable. Garlic, Salt & pepper to taste and a decent amount of Parmesan cheese.
Using a Mortar & Pestle
This method requires a little bit more skills, time and elbow grease than the food processor. But practice makes perfect and it is a little bit faster every single attempt. Also, the mortar and pestle pesto might look a bit more rough with uneven visible basil leaves and chunks of cashew nuts which adds some character to it. The flavours are also stronger with this method. Crushing and grounding the basil leaves will extract its essence in a way that cutting and mincing with a food processor won't. I strongly advise to give it a try for the fun of it.
Tips & Tricks
Tip 1 : If your pesto is out of balance when it comes to the flavours or texture, add anything you think might be missing. For a smoother texture add more oil, for a stronger taste add more basil.
Tip 2 : Make big batches and place them in the freezer.
What ingredients do you use for your pesto ? Let us know if you try this recipe by tagging us on Instagram with the #hazelnutblog. We'd love to see you (re-)creation.
Take care and see you next time.
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Hazelnut Blog is a food blog featuring our favourite healthy(-ish) recipes. We celebrate home-made food and focus on a healthy and balanced diet. We wish you'll get inspire to try some of our recipes.