Lemon Balm and Cashew Pesto

Lemon Balm and Cashew Pesto

*2 cups fresh lemon balm leaves, packed
*1 cup fresh parsley leaves, packed
*3 medium garlic cloves, peeled
*1/4 cup raw cashews
*1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
*1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan-Reggiano or Romano cheese
*juice of 1 fat lemon (seeded)
*fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1. Combine herbs, garlic, and cashews in food processor and pulse a few times.

2. With the food processor running, slowly pour in the olive oil. Turn it off and scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula.

3. Add the lemon juice and grated cheese and pulse again until blended. Taste and salt and freshly ground black pepper, if you like.

4. Pack into glass jar(s) and top with a little olive oil for storing in the refrigerator (where it should last a few weeks). Or, use appropriate containers and store for a longer-term in the freezer (if doing this, I'd omit the cheese from the recipe and add it after you've defrosted the pesto).

5. Pesto is great on pasta, of course, but it is also lovely mixed with steamed or sauteed veggies, spread on cooked fish or chicken, mixed with beans, in sandwiches, on potatoes … it’s pretty much good anywhere.

-Adapted from From the Cook's Garden: Recipes for Cooks Who Like to Garden, Gardeners Who Like to Cook, and Everyone Who Wishes They Had a Garden
by Ellen Ecker Ogden