If you have a garden, you most likely have an overload of fresh herbs this time of year and making pesto is probably on your to-do list. Here is a recipe I’ve been making for a few years now and it’s truly wonderful. It uses a variety of fresh herbs, lemon zest and pistachios – one of my favorite nuts. You can use any nut you like, I think walnuts would also work well with this recipe or you could use the traditional pesto nut: pine nuts.
The list of health promoting properties that fresh herbs have is enormous. For example, parsley which is a main ingredient in this pesto helps with circulation and is a natural diuretic. Rosemary is a powerful antioxidant, stimulates the immune system and fights the signs of aging. Oregano is also a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent. And the list goes on and on…
There are unlimited uses for pesto with pasta being the most popular; you can also add it to soups, serve over grilled chicken or shrimp, or use it as a topping for bruschetta. My favorite way to use this pesto is on pizza. Here is a photo of a pesto pizza I recently made, very simply with some Asiago cheese, a small amount of tomato sauce and fresh tomatoes. We were in total pizza heaven – it was so good . Pair it with a bold red and Bob’s your uncle.
1 small clove of garlic, peeled
2 cups packed Italian (flat-leaf) parsley
1/2 cup fresh basil
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon-thyme leaves
1 Tablespoon fresh sage leaves
1 Tablespoon fresh oregano leaves
1 Tablespoon fresh rosemary – chopped
½ cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
¾ cup roasted & lightly salted pistachios
zest of one lemon
salt & pepper to taste
2/3 cup olive oil
In a blender or food processor, pulse the garlic until finely chopped. Add all herbs, cheese, pistachios, lemon zest, salt & pepper to the garlic and blend until finely chopped. With the blender/processor running, add the olive oil in a steady stream until the mixture becomes creamy and emulsified. You may need to add more salt or pepper at this point. Use immediately or when cool, can be refrigerated for a couple of days or freeze for later use.
"The Greatest Wealth is Health" - Roman Poet Virgil
"Let Food be thy Medicine and Medicine be thy Food." - Hippocrates