January 20, 2021

Pistachio Lemon Pesto

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Pistachio Lemon Pesto 21

Pistachio Lemon Pesto

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In store-bought pestos, you may find unnecessary salt, potato flakes, sugar, lactic acid, ascorbic acid, a lower quality oil blend instead of only olive oil, dried garlic instead of fresh garlic, and cheese culture instead of real cheese, iodized salt, and potato starch. 

It's simple and convenient to make pesto. It will taste better than store-bought, and it's better for your health.  All you need is fresh garlic, fresh herbs, olive oil, and sea salt. You can add nuts, parmesan cheese, lemon, or cherry tomatoes.  Here is a popular recipe, along with modifications and serving ideas. 


1/2 cup fresh pistachios shelled

1 1/2 cups radish leaves or carrot leaves  ( I usually use all of the leaves from 1 bunch of radishes- wash well) 

About a cup of fresh basil – I don’t measure, this is a guideline

1/4 cup parsley

2-3 cloves fresh garlic

1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice- or to taste

 Zest from 1 lemon

About a 1/3 cup olive oil 

1/4 cup fresh grated parmesan 

Celtic or Sea Salt 


Using a mini food processor (which blends well and is easy to clean up), blend the nuts and garlic until minced, then add the herbs, olive oil, lemon, and salt. Blend again until well combined. Add cheese and blend again. Taste. Add more basil, lemon, or salt as you like.

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Serving suggestions;

On toasted French bread

Tartines on a wooden board topped with pesto, ham, and cheese













With fresh tomatoes

Sliced tomatoes next to a bowl of homemade pesto

On pan-seared steak, baked chicken, or fish

pan seared steak and pesto

A bowl of homemade pesto next to fresh basil leaves, garlic, and sea salt

In salads

On steamed or roasted vegetables

As a sandwich spread

As a dip for socca 

Socca served on a granite serving board

On radish or cucumber slices

Fresh pesto served on sliced radishes

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I often cook "au pif," as we say in France, which means cooking without an exact recipe and by "feel" using your intuition.  You’ll often find guidelines in many recipes versus exact quantities.  Write to me here if you have any questions about the recipes.

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