Basil Pistachio Pesto

Photograph by kaishin chu © 2009.

The Bonus – Basil Pistachio Pesto

Well, after lamenting over the loss of production from my basil plants, I had a colander full of uninfested basil leaves that were rescued one by one from the culled stalks. J washed and cleaned these one by one to make sure there were no hidden baby scale bugs still attached. I had never before made fresh basil pesto before, but seen many different recipes, so figured I couldn’t go too wrong. One thing missing though, was Pine nuts. I haven’t seen pine nuts here yet, though I know China produces them and does eat them in the north country. I figured I would try substituting with the excellent pistachios we had on hand for sake of experimenting. It turned out great and was delicious :)


Phase 1:
2 cups fresh basil, packed
2 med – large cloves garlic, peeled, roughly chopped (about 2 tbsp, or half this, if you prefer)
1/2 cup pistachio nuts, shelled
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp.fresh lemon zest
optional: 1/4 cup grated parmesan ( I choose to be frugal with my hard to come by parmesan stock, and only used it ontop of the pasta at the end)

Phase 2:
1 -1.5 cup(s) extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp ground black pepper

1. Put all ingredients from phase 1 into a blender. Pulse to rough chop and blend ingredients.
2. Pour 1/2 the oil into mixture and blend, drizzle in remainder of oil when mixture starts to appear smooth.
3. add salt and pepper to flavor to your liking.

Makes enough for 4 servings. (mixture can be saved for upto one week in fridge or longer in freezer. Put mixer into air tight container and layer olive oil to cover mixture, to seal air out.

Cook up linguini 1 min less than fully cooked, using a pasta scooper, scoop pasta into pasta bowl, add pesto and mix, adding a little of the cooking water if needed too dry, or use olive oil.

Serve while hot with fresh shaved/grated parmesan and cracked black pepper. Buono Appetito!

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