Today I was in the mood for pesto, but I didn’t feel like running off to the grocery store to pick up basil and pine nuts. Instead, I improvised with ingredients I already had in the house-pre-steamed broccoli and pistachios. I often substitute pine nuts with walnuts in my pesto because frankly, pine nuts are quite expensive and because you really can’t taste that much of a difference. I had neither in the freezer so I opted for the pistachios and the final result was delicious!! (Of course my husband said it “wasn’t bad” when I made him try it, but that’s only because he had already assumed that there were “stinky veggies” involved!) ;-)
(Makes 1-1/2 cups)
1/4 cup pistachios (or other nut)
About 2 cups broccoli (I just press the whole broccoli florets into the cup)
zest of 1/2 lemon
freshly grated Parmesan to taste (I put 2 tbsp)
4 tbsp. good quality extra-virgin olive oil (plus more for pureeing)
Heat a small frying pan on medium heat for about 1 minute. Add the pistachios and toast for 2-3 minutes, tossing often to ensure they don’t burn (they shouldn’t because the heat is not too high!).
Add the pistachios to a small food processor. Add broccoli, lemon zest, and Parmesan. I like to add 4 tbsp. of olive oil before mixing just to get everything moving a little easier when being pureed.
The consistency will be quite thick, so drizzle in more olive oil (as much or as little as you want depending on the desired consistency) while pureeing.
Serve with pasta, rice, quinoa, or as an accompaniment to meat dishes.
“Did you know…?”
Pistachios are a good source of fiber providing 3 grams per serving. They are related to the mango fruit and the spice sumac and are one of the oldest flowering nut trees. They are one of the only two nuts mentioned in the Bible (Genesis 43:11). Humans have eaten pistachio nuts for at least 9,000 years.