Darnell Lamont Walker leading Rituals Writing Workshop
Spicy Mint Pesto
Category:
Food
Recipe and images courtesy of Michelle Weber

“Pesto” is usually synonymous with “basil,” but you can use the same basic method —pounding herbs, nuts, and other aromatics together with oil — to play with lots of flavors. In this spicy mint version, three zippy protagonists (mint, jalapeño, lime) are paired with buttery macadamia nuts that polish the rough edges from both the flavor and texture. A bit of neutral oil brings everything together into a smooth sauce. Toss with some buckwheat noodles and add some seared tofu or fish and a simple cucumber salad for an elegant lunch, use it as a dip with raw carrots and green beans, or try it as a simple dressing for some grilled zucchini and eggplant.

Start the basic recipe as a foundation, and personalize to your palate’s content!  Substitute coconut oil for the health benefits and tropical undertones, or add some fresh ginger for even more heat. Whiz in some garlic or shallots for punch. Use a mix of mint, cilantro, and basil for a more complex flavor, or play with other kinds of citrus

An Italian grandmother might not call it “pesto,” but whatever you call it, it’s versatile, quick, high-impact — and most importantly, delicious.


Spicy Mint Pesto

Ingredients

  • 3 c. lightly packed fresh mint leaves
  • 1 jalapeño, roughly chopped, seeds and ribs included
  • 1/3 c. macadamia nuts
  • zest of 1 lime
  • juice of 2 limes
  • 1/3 c. vegetable or sunflower oil
  • Salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Put the mint, chile, nuts, zest and lime juice into a food processor or blender, and pulse until everything is finely chopped. Scrape down the sides.
  2. With the food processor running, add a pinch of salt and then pour in the oil. Blend until you have a thick, smooth sauce. Taste, and adjust the seasoning with salt and lime juice.
  3. Alternatively, you can do all of this by hand with a mortar and pestle — bash the mint, chile, nuts, lime, and a pinch of salt together first, then work in the oil. You’ll have a chunkier, less-homogenous mixture, but it will be no less tasty.
  4. Use immediately, or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days.

For more herbal inspiration, try these takes on pesto:

“Remembering to be as self compassionate as I can and praying to the divine that we're all a part of.” 
–Aaron

“Prayer, reading, meditation, walking.”
–Karen
“Erratically — which is an ongoing stream of practice to find peace.”
–Charles
“Try on a daily basis to be kind to myself and to realize that making mistakes is a part of the human condition. Learning from our mistakes is a journey. But it starts with compassion and caring. First for oneself.”
–Steve

“Physically: aerobic exercise, volleyball, ice hockey, cycling, sailing. Emotionally: unfortunately I have to work to ‘not care’ about people or situations which may end painfully. Along the lines of ‘attachment is the source of suffering’, so best to avoid it or limit its scope. Sad though because it could also be the source of great joy. Is it worth the risk?“
–Rainer

“It's time for my heart to be nurtured on one level yet contained on another. To go easy on me and to allow my feelings to be validated, not judged harshly. On the other hand, to let the heart rule with equanimity and not lead the mind and body around like a master.”
–Suzanne

“I spend time thinking of everything I am grateful for, and I try to develop my ability to express compassion for myself and others without reservation. I take time to do the things I need to do to keep myself healthy and happy. This includes taking experiential workshops, fostering relationships, and participating within groups which have a similar interest to become a more compassionate and fulfilled being.“
–Peter

“Self-forgiveness for my own judgments. And oh yeah, coming to Esalen.”
–David B.

“Hmm, this is a tough one! I guess I take care of my heart through fostering relationships with people I feel connected to. Spending quality time with them (whether we're on the phone, through messages/letters, on Zoom, or in-person). Being there for them, listening to them, sharing what's going on with me, my struggles and my successes... like we do in the Esalen weekly Friends of Esalen Zoom sessions!”
–Lori

“I remind myself in many ways of the fact that " Love is all there is!" LOVE is the prize and this one precious life is the stage we get to learn our lessons. I get out into nature, hike, camp, river kayak, fly fish, garden, I create, I dance (not enough!), and I remain grateful for each day, each breath, each moment. Being in the moment, awake, and remembering the gift of life and my feeling of gratitude for all of creation.”
–Steven
“My physical heart by limiting stress and eating a heart-healthy diet. My emotional heart by staying in love with the world and by knowing that all disappointment and loss will pass.“
–David Z.


Today, September 29, is World Heart Day. Strike up a conversation with your own heart and as you feel comfortable, encourage others to do the same. As part of our own transformations and self-care, we sometimes ask for others to illuminate and enliven our hearts or speak our love language.

What if we could do this for ourselves too, even if just for today… or to start a heart practice, forever?



About

Esalen Team

Spicy Mint Pesto

About

Esalen Team

Darnell Lamont Walker leading Rituals Writing Workshop
Category:
Food
Recipe and images courtesy of Michelle Weber

“Pesto” is usually synonymous with “basil,” but you can use the same basic method —pounding herbs, nuts, and other aromatics together with oil — to play with lots of flavors. In this spicy mint version, three zippy protagonists (mint, jalapeño, lime) are paired with buttery macadamia nuts that polish the rough edges from both the flavor and texture. A bit of neutral oil brings everything together into a smooth sauce. Toss with some buckwheat noodles and add some seared tofu or fish and a simple cucumber salad for an elegant lunch, use it as a dip with raw carrots and green beans, or try it as a simple dressing for some grilled zucchini and eggplant.

Start the basic recipe as a foundation, and personalize to your palate’s content!  Substitute coconut oil for the health benefits and tropical undertones, or add some fresh ginger for even more heat. Whiz in some garlic or shallots for punch. Use a mix of mint, cilantro, and basil for a more complex flavor, or play with other kinds of citrus

An Italian grandmother might not call it “pesto,” but whatever you call it, it’s versatile, quick, high-impact — and most importantly, delicious.


Spicy Mint Pesto

Ingredients

  • 3 c. lightly packed fresh mint leaves
  • 1 jalapeño, roughly chopped, seeds and ribs included
  • 1/3 c. macadamia nuts
  • zest of 1 lime
  • juice of 2 limes
  • 1/3 c. vegetable or sunflower oil
  • Salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Put the mint, chile, nuts, zest and lime juice into a food processor or blender, and pulse until everything is finely chopped. Scrape down the sides.
  2. With the food processor running, add a pinch of salt and then pour in the oil. Blend until you have a thick, smooth sauce. Taste, and adjust the seasoning with salt and lime juice.
  3. Alternatively, you can do all of this by hand with a mortar and pestle — bash the mint, chile, nuts, lime, and a pinch of salt together first, then work in the oil. You’ll have a chunkier, less-homogenous mixture, but it will be no less tasty.
  4. Use immediately, or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days.

For more herbal inspiration, try these takes on pesto:

“Remembering to be as self compassionate as I can and praying to the divine that we're all a part of.” 
–Aaron

“Prayer, reading, meditation, walking.”
–Karen
“Erratically — which is an ongoing stream of practice to find peace.”
–Charles
“Try on a daily basis to be kind to myself and to realize that making mistakes is a part of the human condition. Learning from our mistakes is a journey. But it starts with compassion and caring. First for oneself.”
–Steve

“Physically: aerobic exercise, volleyball, ice hockey, cycling, sailing. Emotionally: unfortunately I have to work to ‘not care’ about people or situations which may end painfully. Along the lines of ‘attachment is the source of suffering’, so best to avoid it or limit its scope. Sad though because it could also be the source of great joy. Is it worth the risk?“
–Rainer

“It's time for my heart to be nurtured on one level yet contained on another. To go easy on me and to allow my feelings to be validated, not judged harshly. On the other hand, to let the heart rule with equanimity and not lead the mind and body around like a master.”
–Suzanne

“I spend time thinking of everything I am grateful for, and I try to develop my ability to express compassion for myself and others without reservation. I take time to do the things I need to do to keep myself healthy and happy. This includes taking experiential workshops, fostering relationships, and participating within groups which have a similar interest to become a more compassionate and fulfilled being.“
–Peter

“Self-forgiveness for my own judgments. And oh yeah, coming to Esalen.”
–David B.

“Hmm, this is a tough one! I guess I take care of my heart through fostering relationships with people I feel connected to. Spending quality time with them (whether we're on the phone, through messages/letters, on Zoom, or in-person). Being there for them, listening to them, sharing what's going on with me, my struggles and my successes... like we do in the Esalen weekly Friends of Esalen Zoom sessions!”
–Lori

“I remind myself in many ways of the fact that " Love is all there is!" LOVE is the prize and this one precious life is the stage we get to learn our lessons. I get out into nature, hike, camp, river kayak, fly fish, garden, I create, I dance (not enough!), and I remain grateful for each day, each breath, each moment. Being in the moment, awake, and remembering the gift of life and my feeling of gratitude for all of creation.”
–Steven
“My physical heart by limiting stress and eating a heart-healthy diet. My emotional heart by staying in love with the world and by knowing that all disappointment and loss will pass.“
–David Z.


Today, September 29, is World Heart Day. Strike up a conversation with your own heart and as you feel comfortable, encourage others to do the same. As part of our own transformations and self-care, we sometimes ask for others to illuminate and enliven our hearts or speak our love language.

What if we could do this for ourselves too, even if just for today… or to start a heart practice, forever?



About

Esalen Team

Darnell Lamont Walker leading Rituals Writing Workshop
Spicy Mint Pesto
Category:
Food

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About

Esalen Team

Spicy Mint Pesto

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Esalen Team

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