Friday, March 14, 2008

Quick meals - Coriander Pesto

My first encounter with Pesto was many years ago, and one of confusion, not really sure what I was tasting or experiencing. It was a truly Italian pesto, with basil, pine nuts olive oil and the like. It was not too bad, but not something I'd volunteer to eat on a regular basis, more of an acquired taste. Recently however, I've been making a pesto that falls into the comfort food category.

Coriander pesto is something I first heard of while watching food programmes on TV. It has all the enticing prospects of regular pesto, except its much lighter and to be honest, cheaper to make in Singapore. I found a random recipe online that had fulfilled my criteria (that I already had all the ingredients). I don't know which one it is anymore, but just to let everyone know, I did get the initial recipe from somewhere, and it was never my idea solely.

Just some points to note - I use the big australian limes because they are big and fragrant and do not have the flowery scent of the calamansi, just a straightforward citrusy pucker-up flavour. These can be found at any regular wet market, not sure about the supermarket. Fresh coriander should be much cheaper at the wet market too, about 1 sgd for a fist sized bunch. Macadamias are the splurge, but that was because I had some at hand. Pine nuts would do if you have them, but macadamias can be bought from the snack section of most supermarkets. I used the plain salted ones. too many additives on the other flavours.

Coriander pesto

big bunch of fresh coriander, roots cut off, rinsed carefully and shake as dry as possible.
1/4 cup salted macadamias
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 clove garlic, peeled
juice of 1 large lime

blend together in a large blender, add extra oil if necessary.

Makes a tangy yummy pesto, perfect on hot pasta with some peeled blanched shrimp and thinly sliced celery, or as it is.

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