This is a delicious variation on the classic basil pesto, and one that’s especially suited to lamb. It was submitted by one of our long-time customers, James Rogers who is an accomplished baritone as well as an excellent chef.
3 cups lightly packed mint leaves, washed and dried
1/3 cup roasted unsalted cashews
3 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
At least 2 cloves garlic, peeled (or more to taste)
Salt to taste
1/2 cup good olive oil
Pulse the mint leaves, cashews, Parmesan, and garlic into a uniform paste in a food processor. Taste and add salt or more garlic as needed. Then, running the food processor continuously, drizzle in the olive oil until all ingredients are blended.
USE: Mint pesto is a great accompaniment for plain grilled lamb chops. You can also mix it by hand into ground lamb, about 1/4 cup of pesto per pound of meat, before shaping the meat into burger patties or kofta kebabs and grilling. If for some reason you’re out of lamb, this recipe also goes well with pasta, polenta, or grilled pork or fish.
STORAGE: Pesto is best when it’s fresh, but you can freeze leftovers or larger quantities. If you freeze the pesto in an ice-cube tray, moving the cubes to a plastic freezer bag after they turn solid, you will be able later to thaw just the amount you need.
VARIATIONS: This is a versatile recipe. Substitute almonds, pine nuts, or tahini for cashews; or substitute crumbled feta or another salty cheese for Parmesan.