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 
Ingredients
           4
cups fresh basil leaves (from about 3 large bunches)

          ½
cup olive oil
          ⅓
cup pistachio
           2
garlic cloves
           1
teaspoon lemon zest
           1
tablespoon lemon juice
          ¼
cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
          ¼
cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
          1
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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