I don’t know how it is in your part of the world, but in Estonia pesto and all things basil is rather expensive. I do grow basil in my little balcony garden, but making pesto requires loads of it. It has happened several times that I have the biggest bunch of basil you can imagine. So obviously pesto is on the menu, but once I start making it, I realize very soon that a lot of basil still translates into only a little jar of pesto. And talking about pesto, the small jar is not enough. Never. The only reasonable quantity for pesto is a lot.
So, I have been playing around with other herbs and greens that grow better in this, rather cold, part of the world. Actually, all greens mixed with some sort of nuts or seeds, oil, and cheese are good. I have never prepared pesto I didn’t like in my life, but today I am sharing one of my favorites – dill pesto! Dill loves the Estonian climate, and all the gardens are full of it. Estonians like to add it everywhere, so I figured I try to use it in pesto too. And it worked amazingly! In fact, I think I need to take a break right now and whizz up a batch :)
Talking about amounts, I did not give you precise quantities this time. Just add your bunch of dill on a scale – this is your one part and work from there. Salt and lemon should be added by taste anyway, but don’t add too much at one time. Start with only a little - you can always add more later on.
Once you have your pesto and you have tasted it you probably figure out several ways how to use it. I love to enjoy it on fresh bread just on its own. Or mix it to a nice salad with boiled potatoes, eggs, and green beans. It would also work with fish dishes or maybe even chicken (I rarely eat meat, so I don’t remember having it with chicken, but in my head it makes sense). Asparagus with dill pesto is fantastic. Mixing it with greek yogurt gives you a quick and easy dipping sauce. So, a lot of different options for enjoying it, I am sure you figure out many more.
To store, cover the pesto with a thin layer of extra oil. It will be good for at least a week, but in reality, it will be finished much sooner
Delicious Dill Pesto
Cooking time: 10 minutes
1 part of cashews
1 part of gouda cheese
1 part of fresh dill
1 part of extra virgin olive oil
Salt and lemon juice, to taste
Toast the cashews on a dry pan on medium heat for about 5 minutes, mixing now and then so they would toast evenly. Set aside to cool. You can do this in advance.
Grate the cheese and chop the dill roughly.
To make the pesto, you need to blend all the ingredients. I like to use a stick blender here, but you can also do this with a regular blender or a food processor with cutting blades.
Serve immediately or store in the fridge.
By Kadri Raig
Kadri is a food blogger and yoga teacher from Estonia. She does love to spend time in the kitchen, but most of her recipes are simple and don’t take more than 20 minutes of active cooking time. She thinks that everybody can find time to cook healthy food at home, it is just a question of planning. "I work in an office full time, teach yoga 7-8 hours a week and write a blog. So if I manage to cook most of my meals, then so do you!" Connect with Kadri and enjoy many more of her delicious healthy recipes on her website here: www.kahvliga.ee.
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