Is there anything better than fresh homemade pesto? The jarred stuff can be useful in a pinch, but in my opinion, it pales in comparison with the real stuff. Plus it’s usually filled with preservatives and probably all kinds of other things you wouldn’t normally put in your food, so making it from scratch is much healthier too!
I had a good amount of macadamias stashed away at home (thanks to Australian Macadamias) and thought I’d try substituting macadamias for the usual pine nuts — I was really happy with the results! Macadamias are generally cheaper than the pricey pine nut too, which makes this homemade pesto a little easier on the wallet to produce. I really enjoyed the extra crrunch and texture the macadamias gave to this recipe, which was quite a bit chunkier than your every-day pesto sauce and a nice change.
As per the usual pesto recipes, this recipe is unbelievably simple to put together. Just a few every day ingredients thrown together in the food processor, pulsed, and then it’s ready to be eaten in a variety of ways: with fresh steaming pasta, as a dip or even on toast with a fried egg on top (see below for my list of ideas for how you can use this incredibly versatile recipe)!
Makes: Just over a cup of pesto
Time to prepare: 5 minutes
- 1 cup loosely packed basil leaves
- 1/2 cup raw macadamias (unsalted)
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, sliced, or grated
- 1/4 cup macadamia oil (or you could use olive oil or another mild flavoured oil, such as soybean or rice bran)
Equipment needed: a food processor
- Place all ingredients into food processor bowl and pulse until chunky. Serve.
You could also try toasting your macadamia nuts prior to blending for a bit of extra flavour.
This pesto is fantastic stirred through freshly cooked pasta or gnocchi, but there are lots of to her ways you could use up leftover pesto! Why not try:
- Adding a spoonful to your scrambled eggs in the morning
- Spreading some on toasted bread, then topping with fresh garlicky chopped tomatoes for a twist on your classic bruschetta
- Stirring through a few spoonfuls to freshly cooked risotto
- Adding to a cheesy sauce (for basil macaroni and cheese, or in a bechamel sauce to layer between your lasagne)
- Whip with softened whipped butter to make flavoured pesto butter – great on toast!
- Serve as an accompaniment to meat like steaks, baked chicken breast, fish fillets or serve with steamed veggies
- Use as a sandwich spread with your fave sandwich ingredients, or for wraps
- Whip with cream cheese, or as a dip for crackers or veggie sticks
And I’m sure there are many more creative uses for pesto out there. Let me know if you have any other ideas!