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