I snack on a bag of nuts about once a week, normally roasted or raw almonds. That was until I came across these healthy snack bars that combined flax with hemp and sunflower seeds and honey to make a crunchy nutritious snack to satisfy my midday cravings for something sweet. And of course after a few bites my mind started wandering as to how to make my own nut/seed bars and what kind of variations I could come up with: peanut bar? coconut bar? And then bizarrely a contradictory thought came to mind: “Can I be bothered?” I know it doesn’t make sense given the whole drive behind this website, but really this was one wheel I didn’t feel the need to reinvent. That was a sure reminder that my goal is not to cook anything and everything in sight LOL. But as my mind laid to rest the thought of creating nut bars…the thought of creating dishes incorporating nuts was coming into view…and was slowly edging closer to me like a freight train. And that’s how I came up with the recipe for Pistachio Pesto.
As soon as I think about Pistachio’s I have to remind myself to not finish the bag. I have always grown up believing that these green gems were fattening. Until I came across some research which described it as the ‘skinny nut‘ Oh really? Well apparently it is named such because pistachios are one of the lowest calorie and lowest fat nuts. Almost 90% of the fat found in pistachios is the healthy mono- and polyunsaturated fats.
They are also a good source of fibre. Pistachios are also an excellent source of vitamin B6, copper and manganese; It also provides potassium and is a good source of phophorus and magnesium.
And so the challenge I set myself was to create four dishes using pistachios. Can you think of any yourself? A big clue: two are already featured on the blog. So now I only have to find two. So the first one in featured below. I know I say this often, but I mean it with all sincerity: this pesto is absolutely delicious! My main tip: Try and soak the nuts for as long as you can, the longer the creamier and silkier the texture of the pesto. I didn’t have as much time as I would have liked to soak the nuts for the pesto, but I soaked them for 3 hours.
The pesto can last for up to 2 weeks in a clean sealed container. Make sure you pour a thin veil of olive oil on the top to seal in the pesto and help it retain its fresh green colour. To make it last longer, don’t add the cheese until you are ready to eat it. You can also freeze the pesto in ice cube trays, try spraying the trays with an oil spray first. When frozen remove the cubes of pesto from the tray and transfer it to a freezer bag and freeze again and use at your disposal.
2 cups of fresh whole basil leaves
4 cloves of garlic
1/2 cup EVOO
1/2 pistachio nuts
3/4 cup of Parmesan Reggiano Cheese
1/4 cup lemon juice
pinch of black pepper
pinch of salt
Wash the basil leaves and dry with kitchen towel paper. In food processor add all the ingredients listed above and grind for 1-2 minutes depending on the consistency you want. If necessary add a little more lemon juice of olive oil and season to taste. Serve the pesto with boiled linguine or gnocchi.