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Thai Cilantro Pesto – The Homesteader’s Kitchen

Submitted by on Tuesday, 3 August 2010No Comment

Adapted from The Homesteader’s Kitchen, by Robin Burnside (Gibbs Smith, 2010).

The flavors of the orient come alive in this brightly flavored pesto infused with lemon grass, gingerroot, kaffir lime, and creamy cashews. If you can find them, raw macadamia nuts can be substituted for the cashews for a special tropical twist.

Cilantro is a powerful green food and a rich source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants–vital elements for good health. Current research shows that if eaten in large enough quantities, cilantro helps the body to release toxins, especially heavy metals, and that can affect our well-being.

This recipe packs a lot of wonderful green food into each serving and the exotic flavors of this pesto makes it easy to eat a healthy helping. Toss with rice or buckwheat noodles and serve smothered with steamed fresh vegetables, a dollop of pesto, and a sprinkling of Tamari-Toasted sunflower seeds for a quick family meal that everyone enjoys.

Makes About 1 Cup

1/2 cup raw or lightly toasted cashews, without salt
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons minced lemon grass
2 tablespoons minced gingerroot
1 large kaffir lime leaf, rib removed, or 1/2 teaspoon lime zest
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Pinch of cayenne
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
4 cups chopped fresh cilantro, large stems removed and packed
1/2 cup unrefined sesame oil, not toasted

In a food processor bowl fitted with the S-blade, process the cashews until finely ground. Add the garlic, lemon grass, gingerroot, kaffir lime leaf or lime zest, salt, cayenne, lime juice, and toasted sesame oil and process for 5 seconds. Add the cilantro in batches as you continue processing the mixture into a smooth paste, scraping the side of the bowl as you go. Use immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to one week.

Adapted from The Homesteader’s Kitchen, by Robin Burnside (Gibbs Smith, 2010).


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