I love a versatile sauce. Having a few really flavorful homemade condiments on hand is one of the cornerstones of quick and tasty weeknight meals. Some of my favorites are: harissa, tapenade, and really any sort of pesto.
Whoever invented pesto had me in mind. The idea of combining whole handfuls of fresh herbs with fruity olive oil and buttery nuts is heaven to me.
I also dig that pesto is really just a roadmap. You can swap out the herbs, the nuts, the cheese (or leave it out!), and the oil for your favorites. You can also add other ingredients for flavor.
Here are some of my go-to combos:
- arugula, almonds, lemon zest, parmesan
- mint, spinach, pinenuts, pecorino
- dill, chives, lemon zest, cashews
This Jalapeno Lime Pesto is maybe one of the most versatile of all. It’s particularly good tossed with rice noodles and shredded carrots, or brushed on grilled shrimp, or mixed with brown rice for the base of a good grain bowl.
I like using soaked nuts instead of cheese for this pesto; they offer a creaminess and balance the heat nicely. Cashews are particularly creamy but sunflower seeds work well, too, and are a nice option if you need this recipe to be nut-free.
Do you have go-to sauces you like to make and keep on hand?? I would love to hear about it. I’m always in the market for a new condiment.
- 1 garlic clove, peeled
- 3-4 slices jalapeno (with the seeds)
- 2 cups basil leaves
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 lime, zested and juiced
- 1/3 cup mix of cashews and walnuts (or your favorite nut), soaked overnight**
- 1/4-1/3 cup olive oil
- **If you forgot to soak the nuts overnight, just cover them in boiling water for 15-20 minutes while you assemble the rest of the ingredients. Drain before you proceed.