Friday, September 28, 2012

Roasted pistachio pesto, for those busy evenings - just add pasta or rice or a nice crusty loaf of bread

A few weeks ago, the boyfriend and I ventured to Nasr Foods, a middle eastern supermarket in midtown. It's like a foodie wonderland in there, and were it not for us starving and looking for lunch, I would have dragged him along each aisle to look at each different item they carry.

And probably buy it.

I did come out of the supermarket with some de-shelled Iranian pistachios, which I had not yet tried and heard were one of the best tasting pistachios in the world.....

OK, maybe not in the world. Maybe just really really really good nuts.

The father unit came to visit and he's got one of the most discriminating mouths I've ever met - he said they had a bit of "soggy" flavour. As if the nuts were not sealed in an air-tight container and absorbed the air's moisture.

Instead of tossing the lot in the trash, we toasted them for about 5 to 7 minutes to dehydrate and that caused a BEAUTIFUL rich pistachio aroma to waft throughout the house. It was heavenly. I guess this also extracted a bit of pistachio oil because they took on a nice glistening sheen.

This pesto is savory and fragrant and can be tossed with some fresh pasta for an easy weekday meal. Add a bit of cream and heat gently over a skillet for a richer sauce.

250g roasted pistachios
2 cups packed fresh Italian basil leaves
125 mL olive oil
1 clove garlic
1 tsp coarse salt
1/2 tsp black peppercorns

In food processor or blender, blend until smooth and store in fridge for up to 1 week.

Afterwards we found some lunch across the street at Ibrahim BBQ which dished up fresh and tasty shawarma and falafel. The server was fast and mostly working on his own trying to serve a line of customers (at the same time training someone new). We had to wait for a bit but the food was hot and fresh and a great deal ($6 CAD/two stuffed falafel wraps).


  1. Glad you have gotten into Mediterranean cooking my friend, this pesto looks awesome :D
    Love the flavours!

    Choc Chip Uru

  2. Pesto sauce is my go to pasta sauce whenever I have cravings for pasta! But I haven't tried pistachios to make pesto. What a wonderful idea, Jen! Glad you managed to salvage the pistachios too!

  3. Ooh I wonder if the oil in them caused them to be softer than normal but then perk up once roasted? I'm going to look out for them now! :D

  4. Oh I remember Lidia had an episode on PESTO and she uses pistachio to make pistachio pesto! Pesto time!

  5. I'll bet this is delicious tossed with pasta!

  6. What a delicious save for these nuts! This sounds fantastic! I'm in love with anything pesto