Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Pistachio Mint Pesto Recipe

  In the summertime I love making a fresh Pistachio Mint Pesto. It reminds me of the Summers I spent working at a fine-dining Italian restaurant in Atlanta, GA called Ciao Bella. We had this delicious Chicken pesto penne pasta that was out of this world and this recipe I created is inspired by the traditional Pesto sauce that we served.

I really like making this sauce because it's one of those sauces that is easy to make and goes with almost anything. I like to mix it with linguine or put it on top of a beautifully grilled piece of Tilapia. And the great thing about it is you can use it as a sandwich spread for lunch the next day. 

Pistachio Mint Pesto Sauce 
cups fresh basil leaves (from about 3 large bunches)

cup olive oil
cup pistachio
garlic cloves
teaspoon lemon zest
tablespoon lemon juice
cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
teaspoon kosher salt
sprig of mint (optional)

Combine first 6 ingredients and mint together in blender. 

Blend until paste forms, stopping often to push down basil. 

Add cheese and salt; blend until smooth. Transfer pesto into small bowl.

Pesto Tips
By using a blender instead of a food processor the Pesto will be smoother.
This Pesto can be made 1 day in advance. When you store it, top it with 1/2 inch olive oil and place in the refrigerator.
You could also freeze it in ice cube trays and enjoy later.
If you want to use the Pesto as a sauce for pasta, then add 1/4 cup of pasta water to the sauce. Then add the cooked pasta. This will help the sauce adhere to the pasta.

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