Try this pesto stirred into a salad of rice vermicelli, grated carrots, chopped green onions, bean sprouts, sliced cucumbers, grilled shrimp, and crushed peanuts. It's also good spread on toasted baguette slices and topped with thinly sliced cucumber, crushed honey-roasted peanuts, grated carrots, and sprigs of mint or basil.
4 cloves garlic, peeled
1/2-inch piece ginger, peeled
2 or more Thai peppers, stemmed
3-inch piece lemon grass, lightly smashed
1 1/2 c. Thai basil (or combination of basils)
1/2 c. mint
1/2 c. cilantro
1/2 tsp. lime zest
2 T. fresh lime juice
3/4 c. dry, honey-roasted peanuts
about 3/4 c. peanut oil
salt to taste
crushed red pepper to taste
In a blender or food processor, chop garlic, ginger, peppers, and lemon grass. Slowly add all the remaining ingredients except for the oil, and grind to a thick paste. Add enough oil to achieve the desired consistency. Add salt and red pepper to taste. Use immediately, or pour into a jar and refrigerate until needed.
From the July 2001 issue.