As strange as it might sound this recipe is rather addictive! Cacao nibs are the small pieces of crushed roasted whole cacao beans and are the least processed version of chocolate on the market. They are highly nutritious, their texture is crunchy and they have a deep flavour which can be described as slightly bitter, earthy, savoury, smokey and nutty. Cacao nibs are delicious in savoury dishes. Yes, you heard me! I invite you to have a bit of fun with this diverse and delicious ingredient next time you're in the kitchen. This affordable and underrated superfood can add a new dimension to traditional recipes.
CACAO NIB PESTO
Use this pesto on pasta or spread it on toasted crusty sourdough bread topped with fresh tomato for a unique and wholesome appetizer. It will keep in the fridge for 4-5 days.
Ingredients (serves 4)
2 cups fresh basil leaves, stems removed (in the winter you could use rocket & parsley)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
3 Tbsp. toasted pine, cashew, almond or macadamia nuts, divided
1 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. peppercorns
1 clove garlic
1/4 tsp. sea salt
Place basil leaves in a processor. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, cacao nibs, 2 tablespoons nuts, lemon juice, peppercorns, garlic and sea salt. Pulse until coarse. Add more olive oil if needed and blend into a creamy paste. Mix in remaining nuts.
Use pesto immediately or refrigerate in a glass container topped with oil to avoid browning.