Pesto w/ Thai Basil & Cilantro

20120723-083609.jpg This year I'm growing 6 different basil varieties: Marseilles, Purple Ruffles, Sweet Genovese, Thai, Lemon, & Spicy Bush Basil. Five out of the six work deliciously in my traditional Italian pesto (you know the one with olive oil, pinenuts, garlic & parm.) But the Thai Basil is a different bird. The intense bail flavor is deep and licoricey and I don't like it with olive oil and parm, I love it with cilantro and sesame oil!

Ingredients: - as much Thai basil as you have, I had 2 freezer bags full, leaves removed from stems - as much cilantro as you can find, I had 1 freezer bag full, I use the stems & leaves - 4-5 cloves of garlic, depending on your love of garlic and amount of herbs - 2-3 jalapeños depending on how spicy you are - sesame oil (half a cup or so) - sesame seeds - salt, just a pinch for the garlic


Method: - clean & prep your basil & cilantro. A deep sink & a salad spinner come in quite handy - put your garlic, pinch of salt and jalapeños into a food processor. Pulse until they're chopped up. - add herbs a handful at a time into your food processor. Pulsing a few times, drizzling in some sesame oil - add sesame seeds and blend until they're incorporated. - put the paste into ice cube trays & allow to set over night. When solid, pop the cubes into a freezer bag. - Don't forget to mark it Thai Basil Pesto!


These cubes are great on rice noodles, pho, and mixed into stir fry. Just remember, like all herbs, don't over cook & add them in at the end of your cooking process.

Which kind of basil are you growing this summer?