Try Adding Matcha To Pesto For A Perfectly Subtle Earthy Flavor

Matcha is everywhere. It's either being sipped in lattes, transformed into refreshing desserts like matcha green tea ice cream, or added to baked goods and foods like matcha crepes. Well, now, it's time to add this finely ground green powder that is derived from tea leaves to your next pesto sauce. Matcha's flavor is a balancing act of bitter tempered by sweet, earthy, and umami notes. When added to a basil pesto it can bring a subtle sweetness to boost its flavor. Its intensity depends on how much you add and how much your taste buds can handle.

Basil pesto is typically made with grated parmigiano-reggiano or grana padano cheese, basil, garlic, lemon juice, pine nuts, olive oil, and salt and pepper all blended together to a paste-like consistency in your food processor or blender. By adding as little as a teaspoon or as much as a tablespoon to your pesto, matcha's mild flavors will complement its sweet, herby, and savory taste. It will also give your sauce a vibrant, green color upgrade.

Add mint or ginger

To make a matcha pesto, you want to wait and add the matcha with the olive oil after you've ground up the other ingredients. Once added, blend it all together until it is smooth and creamy. A little matcha goes a long way, so feel free to add it gradually and to taste. You may also want to add either some fresh ginger or mint to the mix to round out the flavor. Mint adds a refreshing and sweet note to matcha's grassy taste while ginger is going to add a spicy element along with a little warm sweetness.

The type of nut you use can change the overall taste of any pesto, including matcha pesto. Some are creamier, more savory, and nuttier than others. If you are not a fan of pine nuts, feel free to swap them out for cashews or pistachios. Pistachios have a distinct flavor that is sweet and nutty which makes them a good nut to go toe to toe with matcha. Cashews are going to give your matcha pesto a rich creaminess that makes for a velvety taste.

Type of matcha to use

The type of matcha you use will influence the overall taste of your pesto. There are several different types to choose from including ceremonial and culinary grade. The most expensive matcha is ceremonial, aptly named because it is used in Japanese tea ceremonies. It's delicate and sweet and without any of the bitterness that you will get from lower grades. You want to reserve this for a special occasion, however culinary grade matcha is perfect for pesto. It has just enough sweetness that its bitterness doesn't overpower what you add it to.

You can use your matcha pesto to coat your favorite pasta shape for your next pasta salad or as a spread for your next tomato Caprese sandwich. Add a spoonful or two to a pot of pasta e fagioli or some bean soup to add to its aroma and overall taste. Grilling steak? Finish it with a dollop of matcha pesto for a savory, herby bite that will give your mouth all the feels.