Cashews Are A Creamy Substitute For Pine Nuts In Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto

Nutty, herbaceous, and savory, with an undertone of sweetness and zest — these are the hallmarks of a good sun-dried tomato pesto. While olive oil, basil, parmesan, and, of course, sun-dried tomatoes, achieve those requirements on their own, cashews are a tremendously helpful addition. Use the nuts as a substitute for pine nuts to create a creamy, delicious sun-dried tomato pesto.

Cashews tend to be mild with a hint of buttery flavor, which makes them the ultimate ingredient for pesto. However, the rich texture of the nuts is what truly shines when blended into the sauce. Both cashews and pine nuts possess a somewhat similar flavor, but the creamy mouth feel of cashews (and the cheaper price tag in comparison to pine nuts) makes them stand apart.

Roast unsalted cashews before blending them with olive oil, salt, minced garlic, parmesan, lemon juice, basil, and sun-dried tomatoes. Use the sauce to top off toasted bread, pasta, or a homemade margherita pizza. The mutually sweet, rich taste of cashews and sun-dried tomatoes make them the perfect pesto match.

Use cashews for a variety of pestos

The most popular version of the sauce, basil pesto also tastes incredible with the addition of cashews. The green aromatic is bright and piquant, making it the perfect counterpart to the cashews' own luscious flavor. With cashews, the classic pesto takes on a creamier, smoother texture.

For pesto that's even brighter, swap basil for mint. Using the fresh, cooling leaf for pesto may sound odd, but it's herbaceous and sweet, and it makes for an incredible sauce. The nut and herb combo are a natural pair, used in everything from salads to desserts. Use a hint of parsley to ground the mint with some earthiness and eat the pesto with fish, chicken, or roast leg of lamb.

To give pesto alla trapanese a more full-bodied flair, use cashews instead of almonds. The spicy Sicilian pesto is made with fresh tomatoes rather than sun-dried, giving it a lighter taste. Almonds also function as a neutral, soft ingredient for the pesto, yet cashews are a creamier, more robust counterpart. Top off the pesto with red pepper flakes for a fiery addition to pasta and pizza.