This is my new favorite thing. So far I’ve slopped it on: chicken, pasta, and bread. I might have eaten it with a spoon too. Maybe.
For Christmas every year, my mom gets all the “kids” a stocking. To give you some perspective, we kids are 33, 30, and 26. Not exactly children. And when I say “stocking” you’re probably picturing a demure knitted red and green sock, stuffed with small trinkets. That is not what this is. My mom’s version of a stocking is a GIANT re-usable bag with no less than thirty things. Anything from candy, disposable razors, flashlights, to food items. I’m pretty sure mine had orzo pasta in it this year. Anyway. Another one of the gems in this years “stocking” was a big old bag of pistachios.
Pistachios are super tasty. But I don’t eat them all that often for some reason. I got to thinking about what I could do with all these pistachios other than just snacking, which gets kind of boring when you have two pounds of the stuff. So the hubs and I started brainstorming. I looked in the fridge and we had a big bag of arugula that needed to be eaten. Salad? I thought. Boring. Then I just sorta blurted it out, “I could probably make a pesto with the arugula and pistachios.” My husband paused, “Yea, that sounds good actually.”
Turns out, its more than a little good.
Pistachio and Arugula Pesto
2 oz by weight of Arugula, or about half of a regular sized store bought bag
1/3 cup of shelled pistachios
1/2 – 1/3 cup of olive oil
Zest and juice of half a lemon
1 tbsp of tomato paste
1 garlic clove
Few pinches of salt
Combine all ingredients (except the olive oil) into a food processor. Pulse a few times, then start streaming in your olive oil. Make it as thin or as chunky as you like, I like it somewhere in the middle. Once the pesto starts coming together, scrape down the sides of your food processor and give it 5-10 more seconds, then you are done! You now have delicious pesto to use in any way imaginable.
For this round I opted to slather this goodness on chicken, but it is also amazing on pasta. In fact, on pasta this dish would be completely vegan! I didn’t know this but apparently 90% of pastas, unless they are egg noodles, are vegan. Who knew? As you know from dishes like Sweet and Sour Pork, or Bacon, Porter Dark Chocolate Cupcakes. I am NOT a vegan, but with all this flavor, you don’t need cheese or meat at all. Which is a miracle because I have a habit of putting cheese on everything. It’s just that the lemon juice and zest, plus the mild sweetness from the tomato paste make this pesto a standout. I would recommend drinking something on the lighter side with this. Maybe a lemony hefeweizen? Like a delicious Harpoon UFO maybe.
You could also make this into an appetizer by plopping some pesto on a slice of bread as is, or with any topping of your choice. The options are literally endless. Maybe some goat cheese? Mmmm, yea I’ll have to try that.