I use Italian or flat leaf parsley for all the recipes as it is more flavorful. I make this pesto or the Cilantro Pesto weekly to keep on hand for pasta, sandwiches, dressing, etc. This recipe makes a sufficient quantity for 1 lb dry pasta, a week's worth of sandwiches and dressings. Spread a bit of the pesto on the bread slices before filling and grilling to make grilled cheese sandwiches extra special and serve with tomato soup. Or spread a pita bread or pizza base with the pesto and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and bake until cheese is bubbly to serve with corn chowder. Either way, Yummy!
1 bunch Italian Parsley
1 bunch fresh Basil
4 or 5 cloves fresh Garlic
1/3 - 1/2 cup Extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated (Optional)
1 tsp Salt
1/2 cup Pistachio nuts, raw or roasted - coarsely chopped
Wash the herbs (basil and parsley) well and towel dry or spin dry in a salad spinner. Strip off the leaves including the tender tips; discard the stems. Whack the garlic cloves with the flat side of the knife to crack them slightly; peel them. Place the herbs and garlic in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade and process until finely minced. Scrape down the sides as needed; add the salt and cheese if using. Pour 1/3 cup of the olive oil in a fine stream while the motor is running and process to a smooth puree. Pour in a bit more of the oil if pesto seems dry. Add the pistachios and whirl just to mix - I like it chunky. Scrape out into a jar and pour a little olive oil to cover the top - the oil keeps the pesto from darkening.
Keep refrigerated and use as desired.
Note: You can omit the pistachio nuts and/or the Parmesan cheese if preferred; the pesto is quite delicious without them.