You’ll have to forgive my lack of presentation skills with this pesto. I know this picture doesn’t do it much justice and I know that to you, dearest reader it looks like just a bowl of green paste. You’ll have to trust me as I assure you that it is more than just a green paste and more than just pesto at that. Alright, alright, so it is just a green paste and pesto but it’s not the basil, garlic and cheese kind that we all think of as something that you toss on pasta. That kind of pesto has a tendency to hang around on your taste buds for hours and though the memories of school it brings to me keeps a reserved place for it in my heart and the nooks between my teeth, this is something much more exciting. Pistachio and mint pesto has zing. It’s sort of tangy and refreshing at the same time. Mint is my favourite herb though, so perhaps I’m a little biased. There’s just something so cleansing about it. There is also no cheese in this green paste, which makes it lighter and less cloying and perfect for those trying to ease off the dairy and for the dieter that lives within you, I have replaced some of the olive oil with stock. You won’t miss all the oil or the raw garlic taste in your mouth I might even be so bold as to suggest that you might place this in a different league than basil pesto.
I’ve put off posting it for weeks- waiting for a time when I could display it in a more inspirational manor. But free time in West Virginia has been somewhat of a hopeless cause and I hope you’ll pardon me for using the little I have to take advantage of the amazing $50 massages. So forgive me for the lack of glitz and glamour that I have provided this recipe with-it deserves so much more. Alas, here are some suggestions of how to eat it- imagination required!
- Tossed through hot pasta, rice or any other cooked grain
- Spread on a crusty baguette with a goats cheese and ham
- Spread on a pizza base topped with olives, sliced onions, mozzarella and fried eggs
- Stirred through a bowl of ricotta cheese as a dip or for pasta or for toast
- Spread on top of chicken and fish before baking
- On crostini with caramelized onions and slow roasted tomatoes
- Tossed with hot peas
- In the middle of an omelette or stirred through scrambled eggs
- Spooned straight from the bowl
Pistachio & mint pesto
This stores really well in an airtight container in the fridge. Pour a thin layer of oil over the top to keep from discolouring. It also freezes well if you decide to make a bigger batch- which is highly recommended!
Makes: 1 cup
Diet facts: gluten free & vegetarian
2 bunches mint (about 140g/5oz total weight)
55g/ 1/3 cup shelled unsalted pistachios (if you can afford Sardinian even better)
1 dried red chili
1/4 cup water or stock (vegetable or chicken)
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil (or more to consistency you prefer)
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp pepper
Remove the mint leaves from the stems and discard the stems • zest the lemon so that you have 2 tsp and then cut in half juice it.
How to make
Place the mint leaves in the bowl of a food processor and blend until chopped up. Add the pistachios and chilli and pulse until finely chopped- you may need to add a splash of water. Once finely chopped add the remaining ingredients and blitz until fairly smooth ( a bit of texture is nice) check the seasoning. If you like it smoother and thinner add more oil or liquid a tablespoon at a time. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.