Friday, March 27, 2009

Basil-Macadamia Nut Pesto

Macadamia nuts are ridiculously delicious. I could not stop eating them while prepping this recipe and I had a hard time putting the few leftovers away. I should find more recipes using them just so I can have them around. Or maybe not. I’d probably eat them all before I got around to making anything with them. I did see a recipe the other day on Good Eats with macadamias that looked fabulous, so I might look into that.

Anyway, this recipe is from my massive list and comes from this very cool Polynesian cookbook my aunt sent me years ago for my birthday/love of Kauai. I was not really into cooking much at the time, or at least not often, so the book sat with many others, collecting dust and just being sad in general. Well, no more (obviously). I love the fresh twist on pesto and any excuse to cook up salmon and eat macadamias is fine by me.

Basil-Macadamia Nut Pesto from Sam Choy’s Polynesian Kitchen:

Yield: 1¼ c.

½ c. fresh sweet basil leaves, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced (I went to 4)
¼ c. chopped parsley leaves
1 Tb. lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
1 c. canola oil (I subbed in regular olive oil as I don’t have canola oil about)
½ c. minced roasted macadamia nuts

The original directions say to mix all of this in a blender. I decided to use my mini prep food processor because it would cut down on prep time and I just love using it anyway. Plus, it’s easier to clean. I chopped the nuts first, then the basil leaves and parsley, cleaned it out, and minced the garlic. In a blender (or mini prep food processor!), add all the ingredients, except the nuts. Blend. Add the nuts to the mixture and blend for a few seconds. Keep in the refrigerator, or store in the freezer until needed.

According to the book, it works well over any fish or chicken, or with a plate of pasta. I had mine with pan seared sockeye salmon (Alaskan, of course) and some grilled onions. It went fabulously. Although not radically different from traditional pesto, there is a slightly different flavor to it. I liked the bigger chunks of nuts in it and also the lack of cheese because that made it better for fish. I know, I’m surprised I said I was glad about a lack of cheese too. But really, it goes with fish so much better.

PS: Look at my pretty plating. I’ve been watching Chopped too much.

1 comment:

KJ said...

Yaay for macadamias, they are Australian just like me :} I love them too. I have never thought of them in pesto. Great idea!

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