|Prep Time||30 minutes|
Culinate editor’s note: I have loved this pesto since the first spoonful. Now I like to keep a jar on hand for a quick meal tossed with soba or whole-wheat spaghetti noodles. It’s also great slathered on grilled vegetables.
In this stylish twist on classic Italian pesto, I use peanuts instead of pine nuts, peanut oil instead of olive oil, and three herbs — cilantro, mint, and Thai basil — in place of Italian basil. I’ve made it with different herbs, depending on what I had on hand (once I even added marjoram to supplement a short supply of basil), and it’s always good: fresh, rich, and aromatic. Thai basil gives this dish the right flavor, so make an extra effort to get some. If you can’t find it, however, regular basil will do. Italian pesto uses Parmesan cheese to intensify the savoriness; this recipe uses only salt, so make sure you use enough or the flavor of the herbs will be lost.
|½||cup raw peanuts|
|2||garlic cloves, peeled|
|1||large bunch basil (2 cups tightly packed leaves, plus sprigs for garnish)|
|1||bunch mint (½ cup tightly packed leaves, plus sprigs for garnish)|
|1||bunch cilantro (1 cup tightly packed leaves, plus sprigs for garnish)|
|1||tsp. salt, or more to taste|
|~||Juice of 1 lemon|
|½||cup peanut or canola oil|
|1||tsp. chile sauce|
|1||lb. thin Chinese egg or wheat noodles, or thin spaghetti|
This sauce can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator for several days. The color will change from bright to dull green but the flavor will hold.
This content is from the book Everyday Asian by Marnie Henricksson.
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