California Central Coast Recipes
Pistachio-Almond Herb Pesto
We love California pistachios and almonds and eat them almost daily as part of our lunch with fruit. I thought I'd tryout the combination for use on pasta. I added the herbs basil, sage and Italian parsley to give it a further dimension, with a splash of lemon juice to perk it up. I made it and we both liked it! We also thought it would work well as a side dish to compliment pork or poultry. It's a nice quick light pesto to throw together on a hot night to accompany a quickly grilled thin pork loin chop and salad.
This pesto is so unusual and attractive -not to mention easy to throw together, you'll want to find ways to incorporate this recipe into your menus! It's REALLY easy if you can find a good source of shelled pistachios to use. (Ours come from the grocer "Trader Joes" but a lot of other grocers carry the shelled pistachios as well.) If your pistachios are salted, you'll have to moderate the salt.
Note- If your sage, basil and Italian parsley don't have much fragrance, you may have to adjust their amounts a bit.
Preparation time: 15 minutesCooking time: 8 minutes
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves , stems removed washed and blotted dry
1/3 to 1/2 cup fresh sage leaves , stems removed, washed and blotted dry
1/2 cup Italian parsley , stems removed, washed and blotted dry
6 ounces roasted pistachios , shelled
2 ounces roasted almonds , shelled
1/2 cup Extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoons salt , or to taste
Freshly cracked black pepper , or to taste
1/2 pound thin spaghetti or other shape pasta
1 If using this pesto with pasta, heat a pasta pot or stockpot full of water on high and bring to a boil.
2 In a food processor or blender add in the basil, sage and Italian parsley. If your sage has a very strong fragrance, adjust appropriately to the other herbs so that the three herbs are in balance and compliment each other.
3 Add in the pistachios and almonds on top of the herbs. Pulse the processor for ten to fifteen seconds. Scrape the sides of the bowl down with a rubber spatula.
4 While the food processor (or blender) is running, in a steady stream, add in the olive oil.
5 Scrape the sides down again with the spatula, then add in the lemon juice and give a quick pulse to distribute evenly.
6 Add in the salt and pepper and pulse some more.
7 Correct the seasonings (including lemon juice) to personal taste.
8 If needed, add more olive oil through the top while pulsing. Set aside.
9 Add the pasta to the boiling water in the pasta pan, and stir well. Cook as directed on package.
10 When pasta is done, remove from heat and drain well and transfer to a large pan or bowl.
11 Add in the pesto and mix thoroughly.
12 Serve on individual serving plates, garnishing each plate with a whole leaf or two of the remaining herbs.
The fresh herbs in this pasta will go very well with a dry white wine like a Sauvignon Blanc.