What to do when you have a Costco-sized bag of toasted pistachio nuts…you sprinkle them on salads, chop to coat fish or meat, and you make pesto.
Normally, I wouldn’t consider pesto without basil. It just seems wrong, like using walnuts instead of pine nuts. But basil isn’t exactly in season during the winter, so I took a chance with what I had on hand: parsley, Parmesan, garlic and tons of pistachios. What developed was a unique combination of flavors that I can’t wait to make again.
Without something strongly floral like basil, you have to rely on the nuts to provide the bulk of the pesto, which produces a thicker sauce than you might be used to. Pistachios (the roasted kind) are also drier, less fatty, so aren’t quite as creamy when pureed.
I love the dark greenish-brownish hue the pesto takes on …
Easy Pistachio Pesto
- 2 c. roasted shelled pistachio nuts (mine were salted)
- 1/2 c. shredded Parmesan cheese
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped
- Handful fresh parsley, roughly chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Extra virgin olive oil
In food processor, pulse the nuts, cheese, garlic and parsley. With motor running, drizzle in olive oil until you reach your desired consistency – probably 1/3 – 1/2 c. for me. Taste for seasonings and add salt and pepper. If you used salted nuts, you won’t need as much salt.
This will probably keep a couple weeks in the fridge, but I wouldn’t know because mine didn’t last that long!
I immediately used my batch with some angel hair pasta and fresh tomatoes, which was a delicious and light dinner. Later, I used the leftover pesto in many ways: stirred into couscous, spread onto a sandwich and mixed with ricotta for an upcoming lasagna this week.
Here’s a crude snapshot of my pistachio pesto pasta leftovers, ready to go to work: