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Pistachio Pesto

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Elevate your pasta dishes, sandwiches, and more with our flavorful Pistachio Pesto recipe. This delightful twist on traditional pesto combines the rich, nutty taste of pistachios with the fresh herbaceousness of basil, creating a sauce that’s bursting with flavor. With just a handful of ingredients, you can whip up this vibrant pesto in no time. Let’s dive into the recipe and unleash the nutty goodness!

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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1/3 cup shelled pistachios
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly-cracked black pepper
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 4 1/2 cups (2-3 oz) lightly-packed fresh basil leaves
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Instructions:

  1. Prepare Ingredients: Begin by grating the Parmesan cheese, shelling the pistachios, and mincing the garlic cloves.
  2. Toast Pistachios: In a dry skillet over medium heat, toast the shelled pistachios for 2-3 minutes, or until they are lightly golden and fragrant. Be sure to stir them frequently to prevent burning. Remove from heat and let cool.
  3. Combine Ingredients: In a food processor or blender, combine the toasted pistachios, minced garlic, grated Parmesan cheese, sea salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes, fresh basil leaves, and lemon juice.
  4. Blend: Pulse the ingredients a few times to begin breaking them down. Then, with the processor running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil until the pesto reaches your desired consistency. You may need to stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as needed.
  5. Taste and Adjust: Once the pesto is blended, taste and adjust the seasoning as needed. Add more salt, pepper, or lemon juice to suit your preferences.
  6. Serve or Store: Use the pistachio pesto immediately as a sauce for pasta, a spread for sandwiches, or a topping for grilled meats and vegetables. Alternatively, transfer the pesto to an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator for up to one week.

Cook’s Notes:

  • For a smoother pesto, you can blanch the basil leaves in boiling water for 15-20 seconds, then transfer them to an ice bath to stop the cooking process before blending.
  • If you prefer a thinner pesto, you can add more olive oil until you reach your desired consistency.
  • Toasting the pistachios enhances their flavor, but you can skip this step if you prefer a milder taste.

Variations:

  • Cheesy Twist: Substitute part of the Parmesan cheese with Pecorino Romano for a sharper flavor.
  • Herbaceous Blend: Mix in additional fresh herbs such as parsley, cilantro, or mint for a more complex flavor profile.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

1. Can I use pre-shelled pistachios? Yes, you can use pre-shelled pistachios if that’s what you have available. Just be sure to adjust the quantity as needed to account for any differences in volume.

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2. How should I store leftover pesto? Transfer the pesto to an airtight container and cover the surface with a thin layer of olive oil to prevent oxidation. Store it in the refrigerator for up to one week or freeze it for longer storage.

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3. Can I make this pesto vegan? Absolutely! Simply omit the Parmesan cheese or substitute it with a vegan alternative to make this pesto vegan-friendly.

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4. Can I use a different type of nut? Certainly! Feel free to experiment with different nuts such as almonds, pine nuts, or walnuts for unique flavor variations.

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5. What dishes pair well with pistachio pesto? Pistachio pesto is incredibly versatile and pairs well with a variety of dishes, including pasta, grilled chicken, fish, roasted vegetables, and sandwiches.

Elevate your culinary creations with the irresistible flavor of our Pistachio Pesto. Whether tossed with pasta, spread on sandwiches, or used as a flavorful topping, this nutty twist on classic pesto is sure to delight your taste buds and impress your guests. With its vibrant green hue and rich, savory taste, it’s a sauce that adds a touch of gourmet flair to any dish. So grab your ingredients and get ready to experience the deliciousness of pistachio pesto!

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