Makes about 3/4 cup
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This recipe is an ode to the delicate blend of herbs and spices commonly found in Thai cuisine -- in this case, a blend of ginger, lime, and lemongrass. If you like your food hot, feel free to up the ante by adding more jalapeño.
1 cup packed fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup chopped cashews
Zest from 1 lime
Juice from 1/2 lime
1 teaspoon peeled and grated fresh ginger
1 to 2 jalapeño peppers, seeded, chopped
1 teaspoon soy sauce (dark or light)
1/4 teaspoon dried lemongrass
3 tablespoons olive oil
Place the basil, cashews, lime zest and juice, ginger, jalapeño, soy sauce, and lemongrass in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until a coarse mixture forms. With the machine running, gradually stream in the oil and blend until the pesto emulsifies.
Toss with shrimp, 1 to 2 tablespoons of oil, your favorite Asian noodles (such as wheat, egg, ramen, or rice noodles), and sautéed mushrooms and onions. Add to any stir-fry.
As an appetizer, serve wonton cups filled with seared fish that has been mixed with the pesto and garnish with ribbons of fresh basil. Brush wonton wrappers with a little melted butter, press them into the depressions of mini muffin tins and bake for 6 to 8 minutes, until lightly browned and crisp. Remove from the tins and let cool on wire racks.