This Pistachio Herb Pesto has so much flavor, it’s sure to become a summer staple! I love pestos for adding flavor and a special twist to so many things– salads, veggies, and of course, pastas. We also love it blended into hummus and as a spread on wraps and sandwiches.
Disclaimer: I was sent free product from Capizzano Olive Oils, which I use in this recipe. However, this post is not sponsored. My use of their product and it’s endorsement in this post is on my own because I genuinely love the product.
This is the week of all things pesto. I have a very special recipe I will be posting later this week that features this beautiful Pistachio Herb Pesto.
I’ve been making pesto with pistachios for years, but this time I decided to take it up a notch. Instead of just using basil, I threw in some Italian parsley and some tarragon.
Adding the extra herbs boosts the flavor of this pesto. I’ve been trying to match the super-basil flavor the a pesto I had in Spain years ago, and I’ve never quite been happy until I tried this combination.
Another trick I recently tried that worked magically– I received a box of beautiful artisan olive oils and vinegars from Capizzano Olive Oils and Vinegars, and I used their Basil Olive Oil in my last batch of pesto. It was such a simple trick to make a really special batch of pesto. I am hooked on these olive oils– they are worth the price for finishing oils or recipes that really rely on the flavor of a good oil, like pesto.
If you’ve never used tarragon, you’re missing out. It wasn’t something I typically thought of using until last summer when I made this spectacular Blackened Salmon Nicoise with Mango Tarragon Dressing. I wanted to brighten up a traditional-ish niçoise with a mango dressing, but also tie in French flavor– this salad paired with that dressing is really something special. If you have a special lunch or dinner planned this summer, add that to your menu! It’s actually a great meal prep option as well. If you prepare the boiled eggs, and preboil some baby potatoes, this dinner will come together pretty quickly. I wrote the recipe so the veggies and salmon could be baked together on 1 tray. There are quite a few ingredients, meaning you could have variations of this salad all week with a little planning.
Back to this incredible pistachio pesto. If you follow me on Instagram and Facebook, you might have noticed my new series– “everyday eats”– things I actually make for myself during busy weekdays. These are meals using ingredients I typically have on hand and can easily be pulled together in 10 minutes.
This beautiful and easy vegetarian meal was made special by using a pesto vinaigrette. It’s such a simple, super flavorful way to dress up a salad– I just mix pesto with some lemon juice and red wine vinegar. If there’s a salad-skeptic in your family, try this simple dressing — you might just have a salad convert!
Tips for Pistachio Herb Pesto
- You can make this Pistachio Herb Pesto with all basil, or experiment with other herbs. I buy organic basil plants in the summer because I make pesto regularly, so this really helps with the cost of fresh herbs!
- For the Family: I’ve found that pesto is much more palatable for little eaters without the garlic. I have been leaving it out of my batches of pesto so Xander will eat it, and then I just add a little minced garlic to the top of mine. I don’t mind giving him this accommodation!
Pistachio Herb Pesto
- 3 cups fresh basil loosely packed
- 1/2 cup fresh Italian Parsley stems removed
- 2 tablespoon fresh tarragon stems removed
- 2 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoon water
- 1/3 cup parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup pistachios
- 1-2 cloves garlic minced
- sea salt & fresh ground black pepper, to taste
- Wash the basil, parsley and tarragon, and remove the leaves from the stems.
- Add herbs, nuts, garlic and parmesan to a blender or food processor bowl, and process until the leaves are broken up. If using a standard blender, push the leaves down several times and start again.
- Once the leaves and nuts are broken up, add lemon juice, olive oil, and water. Blend until the herbs and liquids become a paste.
- Start by adding a pinch of sea salt and a few turns of black pepper. Once it's blended, taste, and adjust seasonings to taste.
- Use as a dip, spread, or topping for a variety of foods.
Other Similar Recipes:
- Instant Kale Pesto, by Paleo Gluten Free
- Creamy Avocado Basil Pesto, by Ambitious Kitchen
- Super Green Watercress Pesto, by Vitamin Sunshine
- Lightened up Basil Walnut Pesto, by Vitamin Sunshine
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I make my pesto with pistachios too. I much prefer the flavour instead of using pine nuts.
It’s a fun twist! I also love pine nuts in it… and I use walnuts the most often. It’s so versatile!
Cliona Keane says
I’ve never thought to make pesto with pistachios! It really makes the colour pop and I’m sure it tastes sensational!
Pistachios are one of my favorite things! I actually had a pistachio pesto on a beet salad years ago at a restaurant, and immediately started making it at home.
Robyn Gleason says
I’m such a big fan of pesto but have never made it with pistachios. That will change in a hurry! I’ll have some beautiful basil from the farms this week so it’s going on the menu. Great photos, Michelle! Sharing 🙂
Yay! And you can use Suzanne’s amazing olive oil like I did in my last batch– it really added so much to the pesto!
The garlic is exactly why my eldest can’t stand pesto, which I can’t get enough of. But this might be the compromise I’ve been looking for. Good idea!
Funny how such a small ingredient can make a difference! I can understand why tiny palettes might not yet be used to the spiciness of garlic 🙂
This sounds so good!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Pesto is one of those magical condiments that just makes eating better!
Jessica @ Citrus Blossom Bliss says
I’ve been using walnuts instead of pine nuts for a good while since pine nuts are so dang expensive and I hardly use them for anything else besides pesto. I love that this pesto uses a bunch of fresh herbs – it sounds SO good!!!
It is really good, Jessica! I also love using walnuts– they are actually my favorite nut, and I always have them on hand. Pistachios are a great option for special occasions though! And you are right– I absolutely love pine nuts, but they have gotten crazy expensive.
Jessica @ Citrus Blossom Bliss says
I’ve been using walnuts instead of pine nuts for a good since pine nuts are so expensive and I hardly use them for anything else besides pesto. I love that this pesto uses a bunch of fresh herbs – it sounds SO good!!! I never thought about leaving out the garlic but I might actually try that sometime!
I love just a touch of fresh garlic, nothing that overpowers it– but for my adorable 2 year old, I will leave it out no problem.
Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine says
Pesto is such a lovely addition to a meal! Plus I just adore anything with pistachios!
Gloria @ Homemade & Yummy says
Looks totally delicious. I love pistachios, and they certainly are not used enough in recipes.
I agree Gloria! Maybe that’s because people are like me and just eat pistachios too quickly before they’ve had a chance to use them in recipes 🙂
That is delicious pistachio pesto. I never thought we can make pesto with pistachio. I am going to give it try. As I have basil plant in my backyard.
Basil plants are amazing if you love pesto– it’s the only way to go 🙂
Chef Mireille says
I often use pistacchios also because the price is less than the pine nuts
peter @Feed Your Soul Too says
Pesto can come in so many good combinations. yours looks delicious. I like that you used a good olive oil and it had flavor added too!
Pesto is one of my favorite things to make– I use it on so many meals!