Monday, February 13, 2012

Pistachio Pesto and Happy Birthday to my Momma!

I would first like to say Happy Birthday to the most wonderful woman in my life - my MOM!!  Living far away from home means many, many missed birthdays and celebrations.  AND I am bummed I am missing this one!  
(circa 1983)
My mom is my best friend.  We talk on the phone every day... if not twice or three times a day.  We share successes and failures... we laugh and cry... we trade recipes and advice.  I couldn't have asked for a better mother!  So Happy Birthday MOMMA!!  I love you, I love you, I love you!
One thing both my mom and I love is PESTO!!  I think it is one of the first things my mom showed me how to make.  The recipe is simple: food processor, leafy herb, some kind of nut, cheese, garlic, lemon and olive oil!  PRESTO PESTO!!!
This pesto uses fresh basil, pistachios and manchego cheese (one of my favorite cheeses!!)  Also, it has lots of fresh lemon making any dish you add it to taste like SUMMER!!  When the weather is cold outside isn't it nice to have some fresh flavors to perk you up??


  • 3 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 1 cup dry roasted pistachios, unsalted & shelled
  • 1/2 cup good olive oil
  • 1 cup Manchego cheese, grated
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • zest and juice of one large lemon
  • red pepper flakes
  • salt & pepper
  1. Place basil leaves, pistachios and olive oil in a food processor and blend, scraping down sides with a spatula.
  2. Add Manchego cheese, garlic, zest, lemon juice and continue blending until pesto is smooth.  Add additional olive oil if pesto is too pasty.
  3. Season mixture with a pinch of red pepper flakes, salt and pepper to taste and blend again.
  4. Use pesto right-away, refrigerate or freeze for future use.  Enjoy!  


  1. Pistachios are one of my favourite nuts, but for some reason I never thought to put them in a pesto. This sounds fantastic. I too like my pesto with lots of lemon, otherwise it tastes a bit gluggy I reckon!

    1. Thanks Zo! Pistachios are my favorite too!! They pair really nicely with the basil and lemon!