No bells and whistles here–just nutty, toasted pistachios, fresh basil and mint, a bit of pecorino cheese and garlic blended together with olive oil to make the perfect pistachio pesto.
The possibilities for this pesto are endless.. toss it with freshly cooked pasta or gnocchi for a simple, easy dinner. Slather it on sandwiches, pizza or flatbreads. Swirl into hummus or labneh for a delicious dip. Serve as a sauce with grilled chicken, steak, roasted vegetables etc. Like I said–endless possibilities!
Often, the best way to let fresh ingredients shine is not to do too much to them and that is exactly the case for this pesto. The ingredients are minimal and simple but when blended all together they make a versatile and vibrant sauce that can be used so many different ways.
This recipe yields about 1 ½ – 2 cups of pesto. If you don’t need all of it, freeze half for later.
Ingredients You’ll Need:
Here’s everything you need to make this recipe: raw, unsalted, shelled pistachios (it’s really important to use unsalted pistachios, the salted variety will make your pesto way too salty), fresh basil and mint leaves, pecorino or parmesan cheese, garlic and olive oil.
Recipe Step by Step:
Step 1. Toast the Pistachios
It may be tempting to skip this step but, toasting the pistachios is actually really important. It draws the natural oils to the surface, intensifying the rich nuttiness and eliminates any raw, bitter flavors. Bake the pistachios in a preheated oven just until lightly golden brown–about 8-10 minutes. When you can smell them, they’re done!
Step 2. Pulse
In the base of a food processor or blender, start by first pulsing just the pistachios. Pulse them 8-10 times to break up any large pieces then add in the rest of the ingredients and continue pulsing until fully combined. You can blend your pesto as coarse or as smooth as you prefer.
Step 3. Season and Serve
Last, taste and season the pesto with salt and pepper as needed.
Check Out More Delicious Pesto Recipes:
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- 1 cup shelled pistachios toasted and unsalted
- 1 ½ cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves
- ½ cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves
- ½ cup grated pecorino or parmesan cheese
- 2 cloves garlic
- ¾ cup olive oil
- salt and pepper
- First, toast the pistachios. Preheat your oven to 350F. Place the pistachios on a baking tray and bake for 8-10 minutes or until lightly golden. Let cool completely.
- Place the toasted pistachios in a food processor or blender. Pulse until coarsely ground–about 5-6 pulses. Next, add in the rest of the ingredients; basil, mint, cheese, garlic and olive oil. Pulse until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula and pulse 1-2 more times to ensure everything is evenly combined.
- Transfer the pesto to a bowl and season with salt and pepper as needed. Use or store right away.
- Pistachios: It’s really important to use unsalted pistachios, the salted variety will make your pesto way too salty.
- Basil and Mint: I like the combination of basil and mint together in this pesto, that being said you can absolutely use either all basil or even all mint.
- Pecorino: Parmesan or grana padano will work too. Ideally not the pre-grated stuff.
- Leftover pesto can be stored, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- Freezing Instructions: Spoon the prepared pesto into an ice cube tray. Place the ice cube tray into the freezer for 3-4 hours or until frozen solid. Remove the frozen pesto cubes from the tray and place them in a ziplock freezer bag. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
This pesto is delicious!