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VERSATILE SAUCE

Gotu Kola Pesto

Gloria Spittel dishes out a tasty relish

The traditional pasta sauce prepared with basil leaves, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese and garlic can also be made with a variety of other ingredients. This recipe can be tinkered with so much that the resultant pesto may be dairy or nut free, or even vegan.

By itself, pesto can be relatively healthy and nourishing too; it’s delightful since it consists of nutrition heavy pine nuts or a nut of choice, and an assortment of aromatics such as herbs and even vegetables.

The fat components of a pesto are the olive oil and Parmesan cheese, both of which can be adjusted for nontraditional recipes to fit taste profiles and dietary requirements.

Pesto can be made with a variety of herbs including parsley and coriander, and contains diverse nuts such as blanched almonds, cashews or walnuts.

A peanut and coriander pesto is a nice touch for an Asian inspired pasta dish. The versatility of ingredients that go into a pesto lends the sauce to various cuisines from around the world.

It can also be more than simply a pasta sauce. The many uses of pesto include being added to a pizza base; a marinade; in sandwiches; and as a sauce for boiled eggs and tuna, as well as other quick meals.

So indeed, a good pesto will add flavour and depth to the simplest of dishes and meals.

Gotu Kola Pesto

Get ready to try out Gloria Spittel's famous Gotu Kola Pesto sauce and let us know what you think of the delicious and easy fix to any meal!

Ingredients
  

  • 150-200 g cleaned gotu kola(Centella asiatica)
  • 1 cup broccoli florets
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 7-9 cloves of garlic
  • 5-6 red onions
  • 50 g cashew nuts
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt (or to taste)
  • ¼-½ cup water
  • ½ lemon

Notes

Ensure that the gotu kola is cleaned and then weighed.Wash and dry the leaves.
Steam the broccoli florets for four or five minutes until they’re tender. Soak the cashew nuts in quarter cup of water for about 30 minutes.
In a food processor, combine the steamed broccoli, three tablespoons of olive oil, garlic and onions and process until coarse.
Once the broccoli, onion and garlic are processed and reduced in size, add the gotu kola and spinach in batches, and process. If the mixture is too thick, gradually add water or olive oil as preferred.
Keep processing until all the gotu kola and spinach has been combined. Add salt and lemon, and pulse, and then adjust for taste.
Cashew nuts can be substituted with any nut of choice or Parmesan cheese. To enhance the flavour, consider adding a handful of coriander or mint leaves.
To use pesto as a pasta sauce,first boil the pasta and reserve some of the water. In another pan, add some butter or olive oil and sauté the pesto. Add the boiled pasta to the pesto and continue stirring.
And to thin the sauce, add some pasta water until the desired consistency is reached and serve immediately. You can complement this pasta dish by serving it with grilled fish or seafood.
If you want to use it as a marinade for a white fish fillet, seafood, lamb or chicken, coat the meat with pesto and then grill or pan-fry it. Serve with more pesto if desired.
To use it as a sandwich spread, simply coat the bread with a layer of pesto and add the filling. You can also use pesto as a sauce on a burger.
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