Pistachio Pesto

Last Sunday I popped over to the Farmer’s Market after church to pick up some fresh vegetables, fruit and herbs.  As usual, I ended up with more food than I could (or should) possibly eat in a week – what can I say, I’m a vegetable farmer’s daughter!  On my shopping list were cilantro and mint, and when I asked for those two herbs, learned that for $1 more I could have a third. Given the options, I chose basil.

With everything else to cook last week, I waited too long on the basil and it started wilting and turning brown. So I needed something quick to use a lot of basil, and immediately thought of pesto. Having recently received Clotilde Dusoulier’s “Chocolate & Zucchini” cookbook through paperbackswap.com (give me a referral credit if you decide to sign up, my nickname is crazy4food!), I flipped through the cookbook to see if there were any recipes involving pesto or basil. I had some pistachios leftover from Moroccan cooking, so I settled on this recipe for Pistachio Pesto.

Pistachio Pesto
1 c. pistachios (shelled and unsalted)
2 garlic cloves
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 c. (packed) basil leaves
1/4 c. Parmesan
1/2 c. good quality olive oil

In a food processor, mix the pistachios, garlic, pepper and salt and grind into a powder. Add lemon juice, basil and Parmesan and about half the olive oil. Process some more, adding olive oil until you reach the desired consistency. Add more salt and pepper to taste.

This makes a wonderfully-colored pesto which you can serve with bread, as a sandwich spread or a pasta sauce. The author even suggests using it to stuff cherry tomatoes as an appetizer. I personally love pesto inside a grilled cheese sandwich!

Adapted from: Chocolate & Zucchini, by Clotilde Dusoulier

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