• 2 cups Thai basil
  • 1 large clove of garlic
  • 1 handful (around ¼ cup) cashew nuts
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (more oil if you want a looser texture)
  • 1 large pinch of salt


  1. Toast the cashews in a dry pan, until golden on low/medium heat. Be sure to stay with the pan and move the cashews around regularly as it can get burnt very quickly because of the high oil content. In about 3 minutes it should be golden and toasted, leave to cool.
  2. In a food processor or pestle and mortar, blend the garlic and cashews until they are fine. Add basil and blend well, drizzling in olive oil and salt.
  3. I prefer pesto chunky and thick so I put less oil in than other recipes. This will make enough pesto to serve pasta for four hungry people. If not using immediately, store this in a air-tight jar in the fridge or in a zip lock bag and freeze.


Pesto makes a delicious marinade for grilled mushrooms! Mix together olive oil, crushed garlic and a tablespoon of pesto, slice any large mushrooms thickly and smother it with pesto marinade. Grill or fry for 2 minutes on each side. A great side for barbeques inside burgers or on top of green salad.

I have left out the pecorino cheese here, but if you like cheese add ½ cup grated pecorino to the food processor.

Makes a punchy, herby dip by adding the pesto into mayonnaise for sandwiches or as a dip for fries.

Pesto is a great way of using and preserving leftover herbs, my favourite is Thai basil but I also love coriander, rocket and peanuts or try mint and walnuts!

Hi I'm Kelly, I create the 'Chineasy Food' column! I love to use seasonal Hong Kong ingredients.

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