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It’s September, which means back to school and back to chilly weather. The heat never seems to last as long as the cold weather does, don’t you think?
Unfortunately, colder temperatures mean that my herb garden is only going to be fruitful for so long. Sure, I guess I could also pot indoor plants but it’s never quite the same, especially when you consider the yield.
This year I planted rosemary, chives, parsley and basil outside in my garden and let me tell you, I was NOT in short supply of fresh herbs. I’m also happy to report that my basil plant was especially bountiful.
Eager to not let all my gardening go to waste nor to let all those beautifully fragrant basil leaves turn brown, I decided to make pesto. Tbh, I’ve had the idea for a few weeks now but the suddenly cool weather was just the kick in the pants I needed to get me outside picking basil!
For this recipe, I decided to create my take on the traditional Ligurian sauce with one funky swap. Instead of toasted pine nuts, I subbed in flavoured pistachios, Wonder’s Sweet Chili to be exact. Call me crazy, but it works. These nuts are perfect for snacking so why not try them out in a pesto?
Also, pine nuts can be pretty pricey so pistachios are definitely a lower cost nut that don’t compromise flavour.
That said, if you choose to use regular pistachios, I suggest you toast them in a pan over medium heat for a few minutes to release their rich nutty flavour. But, if you’re like me and you find yourself with a pack of Sweet Chili nuts, just get shelling and you can forget about doing any toasting. The good people at the Wonderful Pistachio Company have already taken care of it for you.
I’m gonna give it to you straight. This recipe is really easy and really time efficient. From start to finish this pesto is literally made in the blink of an eye. Shelling your nuts is the only time-killer but luckily I recruited my mom to help with that ;)
All jokes aside, once you stick everything into a food process, all you have to do is let the machine do it’s thing until everything is chopped up nice and coarsely, before slowly adding some olive oil to give this pesto it’s signature smoothness.
Put this pistachio pesto on pasta, pizza, panini… you get the idea.
Give it a try and let me know in the comments if it’s everything you dreamed it would be!
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*Makes 1 cup of pesto*
⅓ cup pistachio nuts (I used Wonderful’s Sweet Chili pistachios for a kick of heat)
3 cups, basil
1 clove garlic, minced
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
Add all ingredients except olive oil to a food processor and pulse for a few seconds until the ingredients are coarsely chopped.
Continue to pulse while carefully drizzling in the olive oil until the pesto is smooth.
Note: If you like a thicker pesto, add just under ½ cup of oil. I tend to like my pesto on the thicker side to spread on a sandwich...but you do you! Thick or thin it's still delish!