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Pistachio Pesto

Related Ingredients
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Tasting Notes

Floral, anise-laced fresh basil gets puréed into a pesto with a delicious twist.

Traditionally, pesto is made with pine nuts, but here pistachios bring the same rich, nutty flavor without being as dominant and intense. Fresh-grated Parmesan brings saltiness, but it adds a far more nuanced salty flavor than adding plain salt. Lemon zest adds citrusy bitterness, ground black pepper adds a touch of spice and crushed garlic pumps up the flavor.

Tips & Techniques

  1. Awaken the flavor. Nuts are packed with dormant flavors and aromas, but you really need to toast them to bring the flavors to life.
  2. Buzz-worthy color. For vibrant green pesto, a food processor is a must. If you spend too much time pounding or grinding the basil leaves by hand, the pesto will turn brown.
  3. Keep your cool. Once your pesto is done, store it in the fridge. Keep it cold until 20 minutes before your meal, at which point you can place it on the counter so it comes to room temperature.

Toolbox

This tool is one we find especially helpful when making this dish.

  1. Food processor. With a food processor to buzz the ingredients together, pesto-making couldn’t be easier. And since this countertop appliance allows you to work quickly, the basil retains its bright and beautiful green color.

The list below includes all the equipment you’ll want to make this dish.

  • Food processor
  • Bowl
  • Microplane
  • Baking sheet
  • Plastic wrap


Ingredients
  • ½ cup toasted pistachios
  • 2 packed cups basil leaves (about 5 ounces)
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • ¾ cup grated Parmesan
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil

Serves: 4

Total Time: 15 minutes

Active Time:15 minutes

Method
  1. Place all ingredients, except the oil, into food processor and process to break up the basil and pistachios. Add oil and process until the mixture resembles a loose paste.
  2. Place in a bowl, adjust seasoning with salt and cover with plastic wrap. If not using the pesto within half an hour, refrigerate and take out of the refrigerator half an hour before using. Note: Leftover pesto can be frozen for future use.

Here is a great way to turn this dish into a meal

Ricotta ravioli with pistachio pesto

You can’t go wrong with this pistachio pesto, but we especially love it over ricotta ravioli.

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