Updated: Apr 2, 2020
Whether I am hosting or just throwing together a quick weeknight meal this fresh pesto is a crowd pleaser. It is quick and simple and brings a fresh element to any dish.
This pesto is the foundation of some of my favorite memories. I know, who thinks of pesto and gets sentimental? Me of course! This recipe began with my Dad who we lovingly refer to as Daddy Randy. Most of the nights when I was able to request dinner, pesto pasta was at the top of the list. I loved the recipe so much that when I left for college it was one of the few recipes I knew by heart. In fact, it is one of the earliest dishes I made for my husband.
This pesto is an adaptation from my dad, and is nicknamed Daddy Randy's Pesto. It is a quick five minute blender beauty that blends together the taste of summer and my childhood all in one mouthful.
What I love most about a fresh pesto is how quick it comes together and how versatile it is. Within ten minutes you have a simple but impressive element that will enhance almost all dishes. You can truly put it on just about anything. It is a perfect addition to any pasta dish and in my opinion is the very best condiment for a sandwich. Heck, slap it on a cracker and I wouldn't complain.
Due to my love affair with this pesto, I have found some ways to cut down on cost and jazz it up some. Generally, pesto is made with pine nuts. But I don't know the last time you purchased pine nuts, but they must be made of actual gold. So in order to cut down on cost and allow me to make it often, I started using pistachios instead. I actually found that I prefer the consistency and the nuttier flavor they add. Just be sure you get the de-shelled version, you will thank me later! I also add lemon juice at the end to brighten up all the flavors.
Fresh Pesto Recipe
2 cups fresh basil leaves
2 cloves garlic
1/3 cup pistachios (de-shelled)
1/2 cup parmesean
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1. To make the pesto, combine the basil, pistachios, parmesean, garlic, salt and pepper in a food processor or blender. While the machine is running slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Continue processing until the mixture is combined but still has some texture.
2. Taste for salt and pepper levels. Add the lemon juice and pulse a couple of times to combine. If you prefer a looser pesto, add more olive oil. For a creamier texture and flavor, add more parmesean.
3. Store the leftovers in an air tight container in the fridge for up to a week. You can also freeze it in ice cube trays and use it later.
4. Enjoy with your favorite dish!
I hope you enjoy it as much as I have over the years!