This is a guide to How to make and Use Coriander and Macadamia Pesto. It’s easy and adds an extra kick of flavour to summer BBQ’s
The freshest Coriander is best for this Coriander Macadamia Pesto
Don’t you love finding places that sell the freshest ingredients? It’s even more exciting when they are extra cheap.
Today I came home with vast amounts of beautiful vegetables from the local Asian market. The coriander I bought was $2.99 and it was a bundle of 10 bunches.
I made a recipe using the amazingly fresh Coriander and some new season Macadamias. This combination of ingredients for Pesto is perfect with all kinds of protein. Here’s how to make Coriander Macadamia Pesto and some ideas for using it.
Coriander Macadamia Pesto lasts in a container for weeks in the refrigerator and can be used for so many things. The coriander should be very fresh and should smell almost citrusy when the leaves are crushed between your fingertips. Don’t buy from a big supermarket chain. There is something about that plastic sleeve they keep the herbs in that just ruins the flavour of coriander. You should be able to smell the strong wonderful aroma of coriander or this pesto will not have the flavour it needs.
The great thing about this Coriander Macadamia Pesto is it can be used as an Asian flavour and also for pasta and cheese dishes. You could use another nut, but macadamias are so crunchy and they don’t have an overpowering flavour. I have also used macadamia oil, it’s a clean oil with a neutral flavour but if you only have olive oil dilute it with a little vegetable oil.
How to use Coriander Macadamia Pesto:
- Toss with BBQ’d Prawns or Squid or Octopus
- Mix it through a noodle salad
- Use it in a warm potato salad
- Pop on the top of grilled Lamb chops
- Add cream and mix through pasta with chicken
Coriander Macadamia Pesto
- 150 gm green capsicum deseeded and roughly chopped
- 150 gm macadamias 1 Aust cup
- 125 ml macadamia oil ( or peanut canola or veg oil)
- 3 bunches coriander washed and soaked well and spun dry
- 25 gm Parmesan cheese grated
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 60 ml lemon Juice 1/4 cup
- 1 clove garlic small, crushed
- Put the capsicum and the garlic and nuts into a food processor and blitz two or three times to just break down the large ingredients
- Add the very well washed, roughly chopped leaves, stems and roots of the coriander along with the oil, salt & sugar and parmesan. Turn on the machine and process till the leaves are broken down and the mixture looks evenly chopped, & not too fine . Add 3/4 of the lemon juice and taste. If it needs more salt add a bit extra. It may also need the extra lemon juice to bring out the flavour.
- Pour into a container.
- It tastes better when the flavours have had a little time to develop. Make it a day or two ahead if you have time
Coriander Macadamia Pesto with Chicken Thighs and Orange Glazed Carrots
For this recipe I used 4 Chicken Thigh Fillets. I put them in a bowl and added 1 tablespoon of olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice before mixing it well. I put them into a very hot frypan (skillet) that has a fitting lid. After addin them to the hot skillet, I let them cook for a few minutes, until they are stating to change colour around the edges (about 3 minutes) then turn them over. Put the lid on the frypan turning down to medium and leave them for another 3 minutes. Turn off the frypan and get a clean bowl . Put a couple of tablespoons of pesto in the clean large bowl, cut the chicken into strips and tossed it in this extra pesto to coat it. Serve with rice and baby carrots glazed with honey and orange.
This is how I made the orange glazed carrots.
If you want to make this dish, make the rice and the carrots and keep warm while you finish the chicken. Chicken should not be eaten pink so check the fillets are cooked through when cutting.
For the Lamb dish:
Lamb rump is best but you could use cutlets or fillet (or a whole leg if you like). Preheated the oven to 200 C/390 F. Then put an oven proof frypan on the stove till it was smoking hot. Salt and pepper the lamb and add 1 Tablespoon of oil then add to the pan and seal on both sides till nicely browned. Then add 2-3 Tablespoons of pesto to the top of each fillet, cutlet or rump while still in the frypan, spread a little then put the whole pan into the oven for 8-10 minutes ( You can also transfer to a tray if you like). Remove from the oven and I let it rest 5 minutes minimum.
Fennel Red Pepper and Macadamia Salad
I loved this salad, the colour and the crunch just worked. There were strips of fennel and red capsicum, macadamias and coriander leaves and some stems chopped. I grabbed a mixing bowl and squeezed an orange and collected the juice minus the seeds. Then I added a heaped teaspoon of Dijon, some salt and pepper and 2 Tablespoons of macadamia oil (or olive oil). This is totally delicious with a sweet potato puree and the pan juices.
Making Sweet Potato Puree for Lamb
I’ve come to love steaming sweet potatoes and them putting them in the blender with a bit of the hot steaming water a lump of butter, and the secret binding ingredient a heaped spoon of finely grated parmesan. It seems to thicken the sometimes watery potatoes. It takes away a bit of the sweetness and balances it out with savoury. It’s velvety and lushly thick once combined like this. You could use a food processor if you don’t have a blender.