Lemony Pistachio Pesto Pasta Salad
I know pesto is already summery in it’s own right, but this pesto recipe is like a brighter, more summery version. When I was brainstorming this pesto the other day, I really got thinking: what nut is officially the “nut of the summer” or a “summery nut?” What a UNIQUE question to come running upstairs to ask my husband, but it got me thinking….what is it?!?! So, I naturally took a poll on Instagram and we all unanimously decided that pistachio is the nut of the summer (lol – what is my life.) In second place was the walnut, but it was a 60/40 split between “summery and not summery” nut.
Aaaaand that poll paved the way for this recipe! To put it simply: this is a lemony pesto. We’ve got lots and lots and lots of basil with lemon zest and lemon juice. Instead of pine nuts, we are (obvi) using pistachios. Then, we are adding both Parmesan and Pecorino Romano cheeses to add salt and umami elements. And you can’t forget the highest of the highest quality extra virgin olive oil!!! I love California Extra Virgin Olive Oil for this (and for every salad, tbh.) I’m saying “we” because if you’ve made it this far in the blog post, I’m just assuming that we are making it together.
Before we get started, I want to point out the format of this blog post so there’s no confusion. Below, you will find 2 recipes. One is for the pesto (which you can serve on anything, tbh – don’t sleep on pesto eggs with this lemony pistachio pesto!) and the other is for the pasta salad, which is so f*$#1293084ing good…”I can’t even.” Oh ALSO, you can serve this hot! It doesn’t have to be a cold pasta dish. I’m a *huge* fan of this pesto hot, cold, lukewarm, etc. This is a very passionate paragraph because I have a lot to say and I love this pasta salad!!!!
By the way, if you’re vegan, skip the mozz and it’s still just as delicious. And if you’re gluten-free, use your favorite gluten-free pasta!
And as (almost) always, here’s a mini video Instagram reel showing you how to make this dish 🙂
|2 1/2cups tightly packed basil leaves, washed and dried off|
|1/2cup unsalted pistachios, shells removed|
|Zest of 1 lemon|
|3tbsp lemon juice|
|3/4cup extra virgin olive oil|
|1/2tsp kosher salt (I recommend using diamond kosher salt - if using another brand, season to taste)|
|1/2cup finely grated Parmesan|
|1/4cup finely grated Pecorino Romano|
|1 cup pearl mozzarella|
|Lemon zest, for topping|
|Extra virgin olive oil, for topping|
|Food processor or blender|