Pistachio Mixed Herb Pesto

Total Time:
20 min
Prep:
20 min

Yield:
approximately 1 cup
Level:
Easy

Ingredients
  • 1/2 to 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • 2 cups packed flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon thyme leaves
  • 2 tablespoons fresh tarragon leaves
  • 1 tablespoon fresh sage leaves
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • 3/4 cup roasted pistachios
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2/3 cup olive oil
Directions

Into a blender with the motor running, add the garlic and pulse until finely chopped. Add all of the herbs, cheese, pistachios, salt, and pepper to the blender, and blend until finely chopped. With the blender running, add the olive oil in a steady stream until the mixture becomes creamy and emulsified.

Serve over pasta or use as topping for bruschetta.


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    I love this recipe. Agree with the other reviewer re: using a blender. Use a food processor. Blender does NOT work. I'm not a huge fan of tarragon so substituted a bit of Thai basil, which has that similar anise profile. Have also made with walnuts instead of pistachios. Freezes well in ice cube trays for a taste of summer in February.
    If you have a backyard or porch herb garden this is the BEST recipe to use all of your bounty for main ingredients rather than garnish.
     

     
    Dinner party guests love harvesting the greens, shelling the nuts and shredding the parmesan. They are amazed to particpate in the creation and enjoyment of a restaurant quality pasta dish within 20 minutes.
     

     
    If you don't have lemon thyme in your garden, substitue with basil and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.
     

     
    I've found this pesto may also be frozen for several months and defrosted for almost instant enjoyment months later!
     

     
    A friend gave me a big bunch of a dozen different fresh herbs. I threw them all in with the nuts and three garlic cloves and added olive oil to desired consistency.
     
    FANTASTIC!
     

     
    And so many uses.
     

     
    I doubt I wil ever make pesto with just basil again.
     

     
    Thank you Alton for putting me on this path.
    Made it today with grilled chicken cut up and stirred in with the pasta and pesto. Wow. I added a little creme to the pesto to get a better consistency.
    Very tasty but next time I will NOT let my friend touch the pasta!
    I am a huge Alton Brown fan and have been trying a new recipe about every weekend. I love pesto and saw this episode and decided to try it out. I didn't have any parsley on hand so I used spinach instead. It turned out FANTASTIC. I have tons of fresh herbs in my garden and loved the fact that I could use up a lot of them in one recipe. Using the pistachios was great too, I've only used pine nuts in the past and it added a new element to my pesto. I doubled the recipe and have it saved in my fridge to put in pasta for a quick meal or spead on homemade crostini as a snack. It's also great to add to chicken, sandwiches, whatever. Thanks Alton for all the great ideas!
    This recipe for pesto turned out very good, but be warned: it's very strong! I tried to follow Alton's recipe as closely as possible but could not find fresh tarragon, sage, or thyme leaves anywhere... and nobody that I'd asked had even heard of "lemon" thyme. I had to substitute the dry, bottled varieties. Also, be sure to use fresh(easily found) "Italian" parsley.
     
    As far as using a blender (as this recipe calls for)... forget it! It simply will not work; you need a food processor. The ingredients will not blend and will just sit stubbornly above the blade, refusing to enter the whirling blades of doom.
     
    I couldn't find plain old pisachio nuts either, so I had to resort to peeling the 3/4 cups required (took 1/2 hr. and a good blister on my thumb to accomplish!) If you have to follow this route (very likely), omit adding any further salt to the recipe, the pistachios that you've just peeled will be PLENTY salty already!
     
    All in all, the pesto turned out very good. It didn't really go very well with penne pasta but went splendidly over a nice crusty baguette fresh out of the toaster oven. If you do choose to use it to flavor a pasta dish, use VERY LITTLE! Two tablespoons of this thick pesto tossed into a 1 lb. box of penne or shells will prove to be more than enough! Good Eats!
    Easy to make. I used less parsley and more basil for a slightly more authentic flavor.
    This is absolutely delightful! I didn't have tarragon (don't like it much anyway), so I used a touch of basil instead. No changes to this are necessary.
     
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