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Macadamia Pesto

Macademia Pesto
Home made pesto using fresh basil leaves and macadamia nuts

Pesto is one of the most versatile foods around – it can be used as a dip (for chips and nachos), as a sauce (over grilled fish, pictured below), as a spread for bread (pictured below), as a base sauce for pizza and as a sauce for pasta. Hence to me, it is really handy to have a cupful of pesto lying around in the fridge.

Baked Salmon with Pesto
Pesto as a sauce over baked fish (check out the recipe here)

The typical ingredients for pesto is pine nuts and basil. But since I had extra leftover macadamia nuts, I decided to make pesto using macadamia nuts. The result is pretty and delicious!

(adapted from Williams-Sonoma: Sauces)
– 60g sweet basil leaves
– a few flat-leaf parsley leaves (gives the pesto an attractive vibrant green colour)
– 30g toasted macadamia nuts, chopped
– 2 cloves garlic, peeled
– 50g grated parmesan cheese
– 125ml extra-virgin olive oil
– sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper

You need a special type of food processor with a tube opening on top. I don’t have it so I used a normal blender together with a mortar and pestle.

Blend basil, parsley, nuts, garlic and cheese until well combined. With the blender motor still running, gradually pour in oil to achieve a thick, smooth consistency. If the pesto became too thick, add more oil. Since I do not have this special type of blender, I transfer the contents to a mortar and pestle after blending. Pound the ingredients using one hand while slowly pouring the oil with your other hand. Season with salt and pepper, or more cheese to taste. Keeps in fridge for about a week.

Recipe Notes
1. You can add 1 tsp balsamic vinegar if you like a slight tangy taste.
2. Pour a thin layer of olive oil over the surface to slow the discoloration.
3. You can also freeze the excess pesto in ice cube trays. Omit the cheese from the recipe and only add them when you thaw the pesto (tip from Simply Recipes). When freezing, secure the ice cube tray with cling wrap and once frozen, store the pesto cubes in ziplock bags in the freezer (tip from Instructables).

Cream of Portobello Mushroom Soup
Macadamia pesto spread on baguette … accompanying my portobello mushroom soup

45 comments on “Macadamia Pesto”

  1. Hey Noob, I love basil, and macadamia sounds like it would be just as delicious as any nut. I use sunflower seeds b/c they are cheap (smile)…

    • Oh I’ve never heard of sunflower seeds for pesto and it sounds good! I have a lot of frozen sunflower seeds so I may try it out one day.

  2. Macadamia nuts are irresistible! If I have them in the house I can’t stop eating until their gone. :lol: I bet this pesto is amazing!

  3. mmm~~ i’m loving it xD

  4. I love making pesto when I have loads of fresh basil from my herbs garden and will freeze it and I can use it anytime I want to. Another way of getting vibrant green color from the pesto is blanch the basil for a few second in boiling water and then dip it in ice cold water before blending it.

    • oh thanks for the tips! good to discover more than one way of making the bright color. and I’m jealous of your lush herbs garden hehe

  5. Absolutely delicious with seafood, pizza and pasta. I usually make mine with pine nuts though.

  6. this is truly exciting! a must try recipe… did I hear macadamia?

  7. Wish i can did my finger into this paesto and lick it off! wow! sounds sexy tho! :)

  8. Pingback: Baked Salmon with Pesto Wrapped in Foil | NoobCook.com

  9. Hi, where can I get fresh sweet basil leaves?

  10. Pingback: Basil Pesto Recipe

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