Since I was diagnosed with Graves disease earlier this year, I’ve been eating more whole foods and incorporating nuts into my diet. I replaced the instant noodles in my desk drawer with a box of mixed nuts. Brazil nuts come highly recommended for Graves disease patients because they contain high amount of selenium so I always make sure there is a generous quota of Brazil nuts in my mix.
The Nation’s Nuts
National Nut Day falls on Tuesday 21 October 2014 and is a day which celebrates the humble and nutritious nut. Nuts are great for you and the NZ Nutrition Foundation recommends a handful of nuts per day. With vitamins, minerals, fibre and protein, nuts make a guilt free, low maintenance snack.
Thanks to Alison’s Pantry, I get to experiment with cashews this month. Alison’s Pantry offer a bulk food range in New Zealand supermarkets. Great if you just want raw ingredients without the fancy packaging. Alison Holst is the “Mother of New Zealand Cooking” and growing up, every mum in New Zealand follwed her trusted recipes.
Can you spot the cute little cashew hiding in their logo? —>
This pesto recipe is a little controversial in my house. I adore coriander (a.k.a. cilantro) but my husband, The Koala HATES it. He has the gene where fresh coriander tastes absolutely awful to him. Yet he adores several dishes such as butter chicken and various Thai curries that have coriander in them. It was a risk I was willing to take. I guess the worst thing that could happen is that I’d have to eat it all. Not so bad 🙂
I used a knife, a chopping board and a zester/grater because I don’t own a food processor. If you do have one of these magical appliances, feel free to use it.
Cashew and Coriander Pesto
without a food processor
Makes 2 cups
- 1 cup raw cashews
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/2 cup Parmesan, finely grated
- 1 cup coriander, chopped
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- Juice from half a lemon (about 2 tablespoons)
- Zest of 1 lemon
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Optional: a pinch of dried chili flakes
- Dry roast the cashews in a heavy pan on medium-high heat, no oil, stirring frequently. Heat until cashews are fragrant and just starting to colour. Do not allow to go brown.
- Tip cashews onto a chopping board and chop.
- Tip the chopped cashews into a bowl and add the rest of the ingredients except for the olive oil. Mix until combined and then add the oil. Mix. Season to taste.
- Transfer to an airtight container and pour over the rest of the oil to cover the surface.
- Use pesto in sandwiches, with chicken or seafood, stir through pasta or potatoes.
I couldn’t wait to use this pesto so I whipped up these prawns for a tasty afternoon snack. Of course, these could be turned into a meal for two if served with pasta or a salad.
Grilled prawns with Cashew Coriander Pesto
- 12 large prawns (shelled and deveined)
- 2 tablespoons Cashew Coriander Pesto
- Heat a little oil in a heavy skillet (or grill). Once hot, add prawns in a single layer and cook until brightly coloured and opaque.
- Stir in the pesto and serve immediately.
This pesto was approved by The Koala! Luckily the flavour of the coriander wasn’t so strong when mixed with the other ingredients and the fragrant cashews really stood out. I’d eat this pesto raw but it’s also great stirred through something hot as the heat brings out the flavour.