Monday, October 8, 2012

Monday Recipe: Pistachio Basil Pesto

     Sometimes all you need to put together a nice meal is a good jumping-off point. Some simple ingredient that can be used for dozens of different purposes. One of my favorites is pesto. Pesto is so simple and versatile. Now, you could be lazy and go buy a pre-made pesto from the store, but there's really no reason for that. Pesto is super easy to make. It only has a handful of ingredients and you don't need to actually cook it.

     I like this recipe a lot because I'm not a huge fan of pine nuts. I do, however, love pistachios.  Fair warning, if you make more than one batch at a time, you're likely to develop repetitive stress disorder from shelling all those pistachios. You could just buy them already shelled, but that's a bit more expensive. A two pound bag of shelled pistachio costs a dollar more than a four pound bag of unshelled. And shouldn't "shelled" mean the shell is still on, not off? Just saying.

     There's a lot you can do with this pesto. If you want to be lazy, just toss it with a little melted butter and pasta. Add some shrimp. Crust a piece of salmon. Or tofu. Throw it in some tomato soup. Eat it straight from the container with a spoon. 

     For the life of me, I can't remember where this recipe came from.  I either picked it up from Bon Appetit or my good friend Rachael Ray

     I don't have a picture of the pesto handy, so I'll include a grainy screencap of Pesto from the Animaniacs. Try to imagine him tossed with shrimp and rotini. Good times!


Pistachio Basil Pesto (via Bon Appetit or Rachel Ray)

2 garlic cloves
½ cup shelled pistachios
2 cups loosely packed basil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon salt
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
¼ cup Parmigiana/Romano cheese

  • Pulse garlic in food processor until chopped
  • Add pistachios, basil, lemon juice and salt. Pulse until nuts are finely chopped
  • Add olive oil gradually through food chute and process until well combined
  • Add cheese and pulse 2 or 3 times

Makes about 1 cup.
Per tablespoon: 70 calories, 7g fat

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