Like many of my favorite recipes, this one was a happy accident. I had hopes of making a more traditional pesto but when only parsley and tarragon peeked out from the depths of my fridge, I had to change my track. Luckily, I've found that when it comes to fresh herbs, all's fair in love and pesto. This version really highlights the delicate flavor of tarragon, gets a buttery texture from the cashews, and is bright with fresh garlic and lemon zest. It's great over hot pasta, with grilled salmon or chicken, or as a hearty sandwich spread. (Side note: I didn't make this vegan on purpose, but found I really didn't miss the cheese here.) —mollydunkncrumble
Test Kitchen Notes
This pesto is fresh and creamy and tastes of summer. It's earthy, pungent, and unlike a standard version of pesto. The combination of the tarragon and cashews lends way to an herby, nutty and creamy sweetness, while the lemon brightens the flavors and the parsley offers a solid base note that supports the whole cast. It would be terrific with fish and is a stunning topper for rustic toast, and I’ve even added more lemon juice and olive oil to thin it to a fresh and approachable salad dressing. For those who are unfamiliar with tarragon’s herb and licorice flavor, the herb will be a surprise bouquet of freshness. —FondueVoodoo
fresh parsley, roughly chopped
roughly chopped fresh tarragon
Zest of 1 lemon
fresh lemon juice
garlic clove, peeled
red wine vinegar
red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper, to taste
In This Recipe
Purée the first six ingredients -- from cashews through garlic -- in a food processor until well combined and only slightly chunky.
Add the olive oil, red wine vinegar, and a bit of salt and pepper, and blend until a coarse paste forms.
Add a few tablespoons of warm water to thin the sauce to desired consistency, and adjust seasoning to taste.
Enjoy pesto on pasta, fish, chicken or bread. Fresh pesto will last, airtight, in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days, and can be frozen for a few months.