I found myself staring at a large basil plant at the grocery store recently. It was so green and lovely I just had to purchase it. I sat it by my brightly lit kitchen window where it patiently waited to be used.
I adore nuts and have a large assortment stashed in a drawer in my refrigerator. As I rummaged through them I spied a bag of pistachio nuts. Hmm, I thought, the pistachios and the lush basil might make a nice pesto. It turned out I was right. The rich green pistachios perfectly complemented the piquant basil and salty Parmesan cheese with a healthy dose of good-quality olive oil rounding out the flavors.
I drizzled the pesto on roasted fingerling potatoes, but it would be just as nice tossed with pasta or roasted vegetables. The rich, creamy flavor would enhance just about anything savory. I have to admit I had a hard time not putting the pesto on everything on my plate.
Grind the pistachio nuts in a food processor or blender until finely ground.
Gently wash and dry the basil. Remove the leaves and discard the stems. Put in the food processor or blender on top of the ground nuts. Add the freshly grated Parmesan cheese and a nice fat garlic clove.
Use the pulse button a few times to chop the ingredients. With the machine running slowly add the olive oil through the feed tube. Stop to scrap down the sides of the bowl a few times and check the pesto's consistency.
1/2 cup (70 g) shelled unsalted pistachio nuts
1 cup (25 g) packed basil leaves
1/2 cup (2 ounces/56 g) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 large garlic clove
1/2 cup (125 ml) good quality extra-virgin or regular olive oil
Put the pistachio nuts in a food processor or blender and process until finely ground. Add basil, Parmesan cheese, and garlic pulse until chopped. With the machine running slowly add the olive oil process until the mixture is the desired consistency. Scrap down the sides of the bowl a few times to make sure all the ingredients are incorporated.
Toss with cooked pasta, roasted potatoes or vegetables. Store left-over pesto in a glass jar in the refrigerator. The pesto will keep for several days.