Asian Arugula Pesto on Crostini
Chef Mei Ibach

Makes about 1½ cups of pesto

3 cups          packed fresh Thai basil leaves
3 cups          packed fresh cilantro leaves
1 cup            fresh mint leaves
2 cups          Arugula leaves
1 cup           packed fresh mint leaves
2 Tbsp          peeled and finely chopped fresh ginger
3 Tbsp          chopped toasted garlic
1 tsp            seeded and finely chopped serrano chili or to taste
                    zest and juice 1 lime
1 Tbsp           toasted sesame oil, or to taste
¼                 chopped roasted peanuts
½ cup           peanut or canola oil
                    salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Blanch the basil, cilantro, mint, arugula into a pot of salted boiling water for 5 second.  Drain and immediately plunge into ice water to stop the cooking and set the color.  Drain, squeeze dry and chop the herbs. 

Transfer to a blender or food processor and add the ginger, garlic, chili, lime zest and juice, sesame oil, and peanuts.  Pulse a few minutes to coarsely blended, with the motor running, slowing add the peanut or canola oil in a thin stream, stopping a few times to scrape down the sides.  Taste and season with salt and pepper.  Store covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or frozen for up 2 months.

For the crostini, preheat the stovetop griddle or grill pan on a medium-high heat. Brush both sides of the bread slices with olive oil and garlic and grill until golden, about 1-2 minutes. 

To serve, spread 1-2 tablespoons of the prepared pesto on each crostini.

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