There are a few good things about summer – like mangoes, the clothes, summer coolers and that amazing amazing feeling when it rains for a good 2 hours after a day of scorching heat and a minor dust storm. We have been getting a few such showers once in a while here in Gurgaon and I have to say, I am loving it. Since the weather is so dry, the rain showers, as short as they are though, are really super refreshing. Thanks to these rains our garden is now back to being green as a forest and really pretty with little mushrooms growing here and there and small summer flowers making an appearance. The basil plant caught my attention the other day and I couldn’t resist but make some fresh pesto.
Summer calls for light foods that are easy on the tummy and are fresh, not just in terms of the produce, but also in terms of the quality and taste. You’ll notice a use of lots of citrus fruits, greens and vinegars which basically have these acidic properties that bring the so-called freshness into our food.
Pesto is one such sauce. It is actually really versatile because it can be used as a hero sauce, a dip or one of the many ingredients in a recipe that could take the flavours to the next level.
While pesto is originally made using a few key ingredients, one of them being pine nuts, I really love experimenting with the kind of nuts that you can use in this recipe. Apart from the fact that pine nuts are slightly expensive, using different nuts will give your pesto a different texture and definitely a different taste. on the top of my list for a classic pesto are pine nuts (of course) but also walnuts and cashewnuts.
For this recipe, I have used cashewnuts – Cashews really yield a nice and natural creaminess to the pesto, while still keeping it light. I love using this for pastas where I don’t necessarily want to use any cream, but still need it to be slightly indulgent.
Serves 2| Prep time: 2 min | Cook time: 5 min
Basil leaves – 30-40 or a whole cup, tightly packed
Garlic cloves – 5-6, large
Cashewnuts – 10-15 nuts
Olive oil – 3-4 tbsps
Salt and pepper – to taste
Parmesan cheese – 3 tbsps
Put all the ingredients together in a blender and whizz. That’s it! You can also store this pesto in the fridge in an air tight container for about 4-5 days. Make sure you can a couple spoons of olive oil before you store, it will keep the pesto from drying out.
Use it as a dip for your chips, or a baguette or mix it up with some pasta and call it a night! 🙂