4
| Recipes |

Dish of the Week: Pistachio Pesto

^
Keep Houston Press Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free.

From classic comfort foods to regional standouts and desserts, we'll be sharing a new recipe with you each week. Find other dishes of the week here.

This week, we’re sharing a spin on a classic recipe that is the perfect way to use your summer basil: pistachio pesto.

Pesto, known by its full name as pesto alla genovese, is an Italian sauce originating in Genoa. The sauce is most commonly made using fresh basil, pine nuts, olive oil, garlic and Italian cheeses like Parmigiano-Reggiano and Pecorino. The name is derived from the Italian word pestare, meaning “to pound” or “to crush.” As such, the ingredients are pounded or crushed together. This was traditionally accomplished by using a mortar and pestle, but these days many people utilize a food processor or blender.

The origin of pesto is thought to date back to the Roman age, when ancient Romans made moretum, a similar paste of cheese, garlic, herbs, vinegar and olive oil. During the Middle Ages, a blend of garlic and walnuts called agliata was also popular. The introduction of basil wasn’t documented until 1863, when gastronomist Giovanni Battista Ratto published a description in his book La Cuciniera Genovese.

Today, pesto comes in many forms, with variations including pesto alla siciliana, which uses almonds instead of pine nuts and includes tomato, plus non-traditional iterations like walnut pesto, beet pesto and today’s star, pistachio pesto.

This recipe from Saveur incorporates pistachios, basil and cilantro, which makes a rich, slightly sweet sauce that is perfect for roasted vegetables or pasta. Lemon zest is added for brightness.

Pesto di Pistacchio

Ingredients makes 1 -1/4 cups
1-1/2 cups packed basil
1 cup olive oil
1 cup dry-roasted, unsalted pistachios
1/2 cups packed cilantro
1/4 cups finely grated parmesan
1 tsp lemon zest
3 cloves garlic
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions

Blend basil, oil, pistachios, cilantro, parmesan, zest and garlic in a food processor until finely chopped; season with salt and pepper to taste.

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.

 

Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.