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Creamy Cashew Basil Pesto


Fresh mint leaves, fresh fennel sprigs, and fresh red tomatoes in wicker baskets at farmers markets

One of my favorite things about living in the Pacific Northwest is the abundance of fresh, organic produce. I make sure to visit the local farmers market weekly to take in the sights and smells that entice me to create delicious and nutritious meals. Of course I also keep my spice rack stocked with dried organic spices so I can dress my veggies with a variety of flavors. While having dried herbs on hand is lovely, there is something so special about using fresh herbs in your culinary creations, especially while they are in season! Basil, mint, cilantro, and lavender are a few of my favorite market finds. Plus, I love supporting my local farmers!

Basil is my favorite fresh herb, hands-down! Its fresh, slightly spicy aroma gets me every time. Just smelling a bundle instantly lifts my spirits. I like to add it to homemade pizza, lemonade, stir fry, and my absolute favorite … pesto! I hope you enjoy the recipe below, straight from my kitchen to yours.

Close up of bunches of fresh basil from farmers market

Creamy Cashew Basil Pesto Recipe

Ingredients: 

  • 2 packed cups fresh, organic basil leaf
  • 1/2 cup organic olive oil
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan (optional)
  • 1/3 cup cashews* (you can substitute almonds or pine nuts, but I find cashews nice and creamy)
  • Juice from 1/2 organic lemon (you can use less or more depending on your preference)
  • 1/2 tsp organic garlic powder (for garlic lovers, feel free to add more!)
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste

Directions: 

  1. Add all ingredients to a food processor
  2. Blend until everything is well-mixed and creamy
  3. Add to pasta, veggies, sandwiches and more! Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or freeze to use at a later time.

*Note about cashews: You may find that soaking them in warm water for a few hours first and then drying them helps to break them down. I skipped this step and still loved the outcome, but it’s ultimately up to you.

Julia, Mountain Rose Herbs Employee, working at a local farm stand at farmers market with fresh vegetables


Supporting Local Farms with CSAs

CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture, and we’re huge supporters here at Mountain Rose Herbs! In fact, our very own inventory manager, Julia, works at the Winter Green Farm stand at our Saturday Farmers Market in Eugene, Oregon. 

"I've been working at the Farmer's Market for eight years; the last five for Winter Green," Julia said. "When my previous market job ended, I asked myself 'Whose food do I want to eat?' and there was only one answer. Winter Green's strawberries, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, lettuce ... they'll spoil you for store-bought, organic food forever. Chris and Shannon are amazing people, and I feel privileged to be a part of their farm family." 

Our employees have the option to sign up for a CSA share from Winter Green Farm, packed with seasonal organic produce. The shares are delivered to our office every week so that our staff can easily pick up their goodies and bring them straight home after work. It’s a convenient way to stock up on produce and support hard-working local farmers. Win-win!

 

Looking for fresh herbs in your area? Check out our directory!

Explore Our Local Herb Growers Directory!

 

 

Topics: Cooking with Herbs Recipes, All Recipes

Sara

Written by Sara on August 23, 2017

Sara, Marketing Coordinator, is our social media and content strategist. She was born and raised in Colorado but has been enjoying the beauty of the Pacific Northwest for the past five years. When she isn’t monitoring social media for Mountain Rose Herbs, she can be found supporting artists and buying veggies at the local farmers market, volunteering at the dog rescue, exploring different parts of Oregon, and cooking up delicious meals with her partner.