Foods | Cooking
Hints & Tips
This outstanding Basil Peso with Pistachio Nuts recipe and photo were shared with my by Karen Calanchini, Food
Stylist and Photographer, of Redding, CA.
Karen says, "This basil pesto is a little
different in that I used pistachio nuts. The flavor is bright and
fresh for summer. Use it with pasta, roasted chicken or lamb, on
sandwiches, fresh veggies, pizza, and especially on your fresh vine-ripened
garden tomatoes. This pesto is also beautiful on the
fabulous gold and yellow tomatoes from your Farmer's Market."
Check out these delicious Pesto Recipes:
Italian Basil Pesto and
Sun-Dried Tomato, Basil, and Almond Nut Pesto.
Butters, Condiments, Sauces, Relish & Jelly Recipes.
Basil Pesto with Pistachio Nuts
Yields: makes 1 1/2 cups
Prep time: 20 min
2 cups slightly-packed fresh
basil leaves, seeded and sliced
garlic, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup fruity, extra-virgin
1/2 cup pistachio nuts
3/4 cup grated Parmesan Reggiano cheese
1/4 cup fresh-squeezed
salt and freshly-ground
pepper, to taste
Wash the basil leaves, discard the stems, and dry thoroughly. Also peel off any thick spines from any larger basil leaves.
NOTE: I use my salad spinner for washing and drying the basil leaves.
In a food processor fitted with steel blades, add
basil leaves, garlic, and Jalapeno chile pepper; process until basil and garlic
are finely chopped.
With the machine on, drizzle in the
olive oil to create a thick paste. If needed, take the lid off the
processor and scrape down the sides of the processor bowl and the
lid using a rubber spatula.
Add pistachio nuts, Parmesan cheese, and lemon
juice to the basil mixture and process 1 to 2 minutes or until the
pesto is well mixed. NOTE: Some people like
their pesto a little chunky, but I like mine smooth (your choice).
Season to taste with salt and pepper and
pulse a few more times. Taste again and adjust seasonings, if needed.
Makes approximately 1 1/2 cups.
The pesto will keep for up to 4 weeks in a
covered container in the refrigerator. Pour a thin film of olive oil on top of the pesto
to prevent discoloration. For longer storage, do not add the Parmesan cheese until ready
to use. Below are some ideas on how to freeze pesto.
Press plastic wrap against the surface of
the pesto to minimize any exposure to air and subsequent browning.
Refrigerate, tightly covered, for up to two weeks. Before using, leave at
room temperature for about 15 minutes.
Spoon the pesto into a foil-lined custard
cup; cover tightly with foil and freeze. Once frozen, remove the foil-wrapped packet and
store in a freezer bag for up to 2 to 3 months. To use, thaw in the refrigerator overnight,
or remove from the foil and thaw quickly in the microwave. Add Parmesan cheese just before serving.
Freeze in ice cube trays. I
like to spray an ice cube tray with non-stick spray and fill each space with
the pesto When frozen, remove each cube to a freezer bag. You will be able
to take out as many of the pesto cubes as your need. Usually one (1) cube is
enough for adding flavor a a red pasta sauce or a pot of soup.