Recently my go-to recipes are for pasta dishes. Throughout the work week, I have to pack myself lunch and make sure I have enough food to last me through weeknights, so I usually turn to these recipes to get me through the week. I have loved experimenting with different sauces and pasta types since I started doing this. Recently, my coworker gave me this amazing idea for a Thai basil pesto. I tried it and loved it, so I’m sharing the recipe with you guys.
Making this Thai basil pesto
Typically, a classic Italian pesto is usually made with Italian basil which can taste slightly sweet. Thai basil on the other hand tastes a bit like licorice or star anise. Because it tastes a little bit different from Italian basil, I used canola oil for this recipe instead of olive oil. Canola oil is more bland, so it allows the Thai basil flavor to stand out. In addition, I felt that olive oil would clash with the taste of Thai basil. If you want something a bit healthier, grapeseed oil should work well too.
To make this Thai basil pesto, combine Thai basil, canola oil, salt, parmigiano reggiano, garlic, almonds, and lime juice in a food processor and blitz. Everything should break down pretty easily, and you have a yummy pesto after about 1-2 minutes. Store pesto in an airtight container for a week or up to 6 months in the freezer.
Substitutions and Adjustments
The best pesto sauces are ones that are customized to your tastes. Below are a few substitutions you can make to make it your own!
- Pecorino cheese or parmesan cheese can be substituted for parmigiano reggiano. Yes there is a difference between parmigiano reggiano and parmesan cheese!
- I personally dislike pine nuts, so I use almonds instead. You can also use walnuts for this recipe.
- Grapeseed oil or vegetable oil can be substituted for canola oil.
- If you don’t want to use Thai basil or can’t find it, you can also use traditional Italian basil. If you use Italian basil, substitute canola oil for olive oil.
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Thai Basil Pesto
- 2 cups Thai basil packed
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/4 cup almonds
- 1/4 cup parmigiano reggiano
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp lime juice
- 2/3 cup canola oil
- Add all the ingredients into a food processor and pulse until everything breaks down. Add to a jar for storage or serve with cooked pasta.
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