Recipe: Pistachio Pesto

Salmon with Pesto
For the first nine years of my life, we lived in my Nana’s house in Bandra, Bombay (Mumbai). Picture this: a typical Catholic household flanked by Muslims on one side and Hindus on the other. Christmas, Eid and Diwali were a tasty exchange of marzipan, kheer and laddoos. Religious co-existence at its best!

It’s funny how certain childhood memories leave their mark on your mind. I remember how I often woke up to the sight of my Hindu neighbour doing her morning puja around the tulsi (Holy Basil) plant in their courtyard.

So when I moved to Australia, I found it strange to see basil on supermarket shelves – in India, it was planted solely (soul-ly?) for religious reasons. I soon realised that the basil grown in Aussie backyards was Sweet Basil. One slice of a margharita pizza, and I was hooked!


Pesto ingredients

Of course, now that winter’s well and truly made herself at home on Sydney, basil (a summer herb) has gone pricey. I wanted to get maximum mileage out of a bunch I bought recently. Hence this Pistachio Basil Pesto.

While traditional pesto is made using pine nuts and Parmesan, I’ve opted for pistachios and butter instead. Pistachios are my favourite nut – I love their green-tinged-with-a-pink-blush colour, I love their crunch and, most of all, I love their taste.

Pistachio Basil Butter

Pistachio Basil Butter

PISTACHIO PESTO aka BASIL BUTTER

Ingredients:
1 cup basil leaves, plucked
1/2 cup shelled pistachios
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 clove garlic
Salt and pepper to taste
Squeeze of lemon juice (optional)

pistachio basil pesto

Method:
Wash and pat dry the basil leaves (discard the stems and make sure there is no water on the leaves). You can also add a couple of springs of coriander, if you like. Put all ingredients into a food processor and blitz until you get a smooth paste. Or leave it chunky, if you prefer the texture.
Top with a splash of oil and refrigerate until needed.

I use my batch of pesto / basil butter on anything and everything. We had it dolloped onto grilled salmon last week. I slathered some onto my husband’s sandwiches for lunch. Last night, I stirred some through our pasta. Versatile, eh?

Pasta with pesto

So tell me, which is your favourite herb? And what’s the tastiest nut, in your opinion?

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7 responses to “Recipe: Pistachio Pesto

  1. Pingback: Hedonic Hunger | liaisonwithalison·

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