forgetfulness, plus a perfect parsley pistachio pesto

We needed fresh parsley the other day.

I knew we needed it, because it’s not something we usually keep around.

We needed fresh parsley–I knew we did, was absolutely sure we did–so I picked some up at the store…

…only to return home and discover that we already had a slightly wilted and forgotten bunch of fresh parsley in the fridge, leftover from another night.

The older bunch of herbs was certainly no longer in its prime, not perky enough to garnish the fancy dinner Micah was making for me, but certainly not yucky enough just yet to toss in the compost pile.

So there I was a few mornings later, brainstorming lunch ideas and faced with not one but two bunches of floppy parsley, not to mention a whole-heck-of-a-big loaf of fresh sourdough.

But what about all that parsley?

A saggy parsley salad with sourdough croutons didn’t strike my fancy. Neither did wilted parsley sandwiches. Even bacon wouldn’t save those.

Then, my brainstorm struck a little lightning.

Pesto lightning.

It seemed like a good idea. After all, pesto is what you make when you’re overrun with fresh basil. Why not make it with parsley instead?

Of course, I didn’t have pine nuts, either. I could have subbed walnuts or pecans, both pine-nut-alternatives that I’ve seen in pesto recipes before.

But then I peeked in the pantry and spied the pistachios.

Pistachios are pretty much my favorite member of the nut family, and not just because they’re green (my favorite color). A perfectly roasted pistachio is crunchy, salty, and just a little bit creamy from all those good-for-you vegetable fats that live in nuts and avocados.

Thus, with the help of my handy dandy food processor, the perfect parsley pistachio pesto was created.

green + good for you!

This stuff was great on bacon tomato sandwiches, and it’s most likely on deck to dress some gnocchi later this week.

What’s in it:

  • 2 tightly packed cups chopped fresh parsley (about 1-1/2 bunches, wilted is okay :))
  • 1/2 cup roasted, salted pistachios
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan
  • 1/2 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

Step by step:

  • Put the parsley, pistachios, garlic, and cheese in the bowl of your food processor and whir everything around a few times until it starts to come together and look more, well, pesto-y.
  • Add the vinegar, salt, pepper, and olive oil. Pulse the food processor a few more times until your pesto is the consistency you like. If you prefer your pesto smoother than my chunky stuff, just drizzle in a little more olive oil and mix a bit longer.

This recipe makes about 1 packed cup of pesto, which will now keep for a week or two in the refrigerator. Spread it on a sandwich, use it for pasta sauce, or just sneak spoonfuls of it straight from the jar like I’ve been doing all week.

Categories: recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

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15 thoughts on “forgetfulness, plus a perfect parsley pistachio pesto

  1. Pingback: quick lunch extravaganza – when life gives you bread, make sandwiches « humble feast

  2. This has two of my favourites – the parsley and pistachios. Huh, that’s when I can find fresh parsley here – why did I move from Central London?!? Hmm…that story another time. Anyways, I don’t have a food processor so I’m going to have to wait until I do. Sounds fabulous!

    • If you’ve got a blender and/or the patience to finely chop all the ingredients with a good sharp knife, you might be able to make it work without the food processor. Do let me know if you ever try it out, and I would love to hear your moving story sometime, too.

  3. Yummy, yummy! What a great idea! Parsley is one of my staples, but I often find myself with a sad, wilting bunch. Until I get myself a bunny wabbit, I will follow your lead and turn it into pesto!

    • I’ve made pesto with the floppiest of wilted basil, too, so I had a hunch this experiment might work. The pistachios are definitely what makes it, though!

  4. But watch: the day I do get a bunny, I will get a exceeding discriminating one that will not even sniff at wilted parsley!

  5. I love green sauces that are just a depository for whatever leafy things are sitting around the kitchen. This looks so good, with just the perfect balance of acid from the vinegar and salty goodness from the cheese and nuts. I want to make this!

    • This successful experiment definitely inspired me to play around with pesto more! Now I’m thinking that cilantro pepita pesto would be great with Latin-flavored dishes, or maybe an Asian-influenced pesto with cilantro and peanuts…the possibilities are endless! Let me know if you try this one out–I would love to know how it turns out for you! 🙂

  6. Great idea using pistachios for pesto… I’ve never thought of that before.

  7. Sounds great! I don’t really like parsley but I bet I’d like this… I started adding cashews to my pesto recently (in addition to pine nuts), and have been contemplating throwing some pistachios in too! I bet this was delicious. : )

    • Ooh, cashews sound delicious, too! The parsley really isn’t overwhelming in this, either–it gets balanced nicely by all the other flavors.

  8. Kelly

    I’m loving this idea of re-inventing pesto – I recently made a fancy red one that I’m going to have to re-make and post. You’ve made me think though, with pistachios being your favourite nut; what’s mine? After much thought, I’d say macadamias are number one with almonds coming in a very close second because of the amazing amaretti biscuits they become.

    • Red pesto–I’m intrigued! And I love macadamias, too, though it makes me sad to always see them paired with white chocolate (which I don’t like at all–too sweet). I’ll bet they’d be delicious in some pesto, though!


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