Mint-Pistachio Pesto

July  1, 2012
6 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
Author Notes

I love mint and pistachios and really, pesto is of the gods. I'm going to serve this with grilled steaks, tortillas and corn tonight! I also think it'd be fantastic with grilled peaches! —em-i-lis

Test Kitchen Notes

WHO: em-i-lis is a stay-at-home mom and avid cook.
WHAT: A stunningly simple pesto as you've never seen it before with mint, pistachio, and lime.
HOW: If you can turn your food processor on, you can make this pesto -- but a mortar and pestle is welcome, too.
WHY WE LOVE IT: The pesto's slightly chunky texture allows the individual flavors to shine through while adding them all up into something even greater. And what wouldn't be better with a dollop of pesto on it? —The Editors

  • Serves 2
  • 1 cup mint leaves
  • 1/3 cup roasted, salted, shelled pistachios
  • 1 small clove garlic, peeled
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • juice of 1/4 lime
In This Recipe
  1. Put the mint leaves, pistachios, garlic and salt into a small food processor or into a mortar. Process or crush until coarsely ground. In a steady stream, add the oil and lime juice until the consistency is of your liking. Voila!
Contest Entries

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Kyle Labore
    Kyle Labore
  • paul.taxicullen
  • Hfacemcgee
  • borntobeworn
  • JanetFL

    99 Reviews

    StaffordParkCulinary November 15, 2019
    Nice use of acid. Watch the salt, the pistachios are loaded with it already.
    Kyle L. April 16, 2017
    Dang, here I thought I had invented this wonderful creation and I see someone else has come up with it as well. I came up with this when looking to find a marinade/grilling seasoning for lamb tenderloins (lamb is often served with mint jelly...pistachios and mint make a tasty ice cream...nuts and herbs=pesto, hmmmm). Great minds think alike I suppose :)
    Happygoin August 18, 2016
    I've been living on this pesto this summer, putting it on everything from grilled vegetables to pasta and many other things. So incredibly good. I have a freezer full, so I can enjoy this through the, if it lasts that long. Thanks for a great recipe!
    Author Comment
    em-i-lis August 18, 2016
    I'm so glad to hear this, Happygoin! Love your spirit here, and glad you have a significant stash. :)
    PerkyPop June 7, 2016
    I came across this recipe (which I see is 4 years old!) while searching for something to do with all the rampant mint in my garden. Almost made 10x the recipe, gave out to friends, neighbors, mail persons and random folks. It was universally loved by all! Waiting for more mint to take over, so I can make it again. Thank you for this recipe!
    Author Comment
    em-i-lis June 7, 2016
    Hi PerkyPop,
    I'm so glad you found this recipe and felt it was a great way to use your mint. :) Lucky you to have it going rampant. I'm so happy y'all liked it- love your idea of love-bombing everyone around you with homemade food. :)
    beejay45 October 18, 2015
    Rather than pesto, this had me thinking of Gremolata, which is not any bad thing since I loooove Gremolata. Now, if I just have enough mint left...

    Author Comment
    em-i-lis October 18, 2015
    I love gremolata too!! Hope you eked out enough mint! :)
    paul.taxicullen June 12, 2014
    Simple & delicious... great recipe!
    Author Comment
    em-i-lis June 12, 2014
    Thank you so much, paul.taxicullen! Thrilled you enjoyed it!
    Hfacemcgee November 21, 2013
    This was amazing! I've been growing mint in my garden for the past couple of months and wondering what to do with it. I used partly pistachios, partly pine nuts (it's what I had in the cupboard) and had it with pasta and a salad. So minty-fresh :D
    Author Comment
    em-i-lis November 21, 2013
    Fantastic, Hayley!! Thanks for letting me know!! :)
    borntobeworn June 23, 2013
    I used more garlic & lime and less salt. Delicious!!
    Author Comment
    em-i-lis July 28, 2013
    I'm so glad you enjoyed it!!
    JanetFL June 22, 2013
    I am reduced to eating it right out of the bowl! Put it on anything and everything! Thank you again, Emily.
    Author Comment
    em-i-lis June 23, 2013
    Thank you so much, Janet! :) Have you tried it on grilled peaches yet? I did that a few weeks back and thought it was a treat!
    JanetFL June 23, 2013
    I did, Emily, and it was a treat!
    Author Comment
    em-i-lis June 23, 2013
    oh, yes, of course! i'm sorry i forgot!
    ohhsusannah June 22, 2013
    A smashing success. I am obsessed.
    Author Comment
    em-i-lis June 23, 2013
    Thank you SO much, ohhsusannah! I'm so happy you like it!
    SuzChef June 16, 2013
    Has anyone tried freezing this?
    Author Comment
    em-i-lis June 16, 2013
    Hi SuzChef, I've never had enough leftover to freeze but I suspect it would do fine. Perhaps you could test-run a tablespoon or so and see what happens? Please let me know!
    millicent April 16, 2013
    just made it, so easy and so yum!!
    Author Comment
    em-i-lis April 16, 2013
    Hi Millicent, Thank you!! I love its ease and do think it's delish! I'm glad you liked it!
    juliana August 13, 2012
    I put this delicious pesto over Israeli cous cous and corn--bright summer meal. I'll be making this again and again!
    Author Comment
    em-i-lis August 13, 2012
    Thank you so much for your note, Juliana! I'm really happy you enjoyed the pesto, and your use of it sounds wonderful!!!
    Cndy August 5, 2012
    I made this tonight with grilled lamb chops. It was heavenly!
    Author Comment
    em-i-lis August 5, 2012
    Oh, I'm so glad!! Thank you for writing!
    JanetFL August 1, 2012
    This pesto was fabulous on grilled peaches, Em!
    Author Comment
    em-i-lis August 1, 2012
    Oh wow, Janet, thank you! Can you believe i have not tried that combo yet?! I'm so glad you did and that it was so good. :)
    MrsBeeton August 1, 2012
    We had a pesto with mint and toasted pumpkin seeds on a recent trip to Salzburg (it was served with tagliatelle)--it was divine, and I'm guessing this is, too! Thanks for a great recipe!
    Author Comment
    em-i-lis August 1, 2012
    ooh, that does sound marvelous. thank you so much for your note. i hope you like this if you try it. :)
    bodeswell July 27, 2012
    This is pretty spectacular; it should be the centerpiece of any meal it's applied to. I was dubious about the lime juice, but that was a perfect foil for the unctuousness of the other ingredients. I did keep adding olive oil until it reached the consistency I wanted, but I would guess it's hard to overwhelm these flavors, so keep pouring. The nuts seem to soak up the oil; this may vary depending on how old and how roasted they are.
    LloJo July 27, 2012
    Ah....mine aren't roasted with salt (can't get here in Lyon) but were quite moist /soft to begin with. I'll add a bit more oil... Thanks for the advice. too good to waste!
    Author Comment
    em-i-lis July 27, 2012
    thank you so much for the compliment, bodeswell and for the advice to eatdrinklyon! let us know how it turns out!
    LloJo July 27, 2012
    I made this didn't turn out like the picture at all! In fact, I've ended up with a sort of thick 'mint-pistachio nut butter'. I added more lime juice - can't add much more oil for fear of totally overwhelming the flavour with olive oil.... Disappointed because the ingredients weren't cheap! I'm going to smear it on bruschetta with some creamy white beans on top so it won't be wasted, but I had planned to drizzle it on salmon. At the moment it's a big thick blob, can't be drizzled! ! Nice flavours though.
    Author Comment
    em-i-lis July 27, 2012
    Oh dear, I haven't experienced this at all. Anyone else? I'm sorry yours didn't turn out!
    Waverly July 26, 2012
    Congratulations! The combination of mint and pistachios sounds summery and fresh. I can't wait to try it.
    Author Comment
    em-i-lis July 26, 2012
    Thank you so much, waverly!! I hope you like it.
    Author Comment
    em-i-lis July 26, 2012
    I just want to say thank you to all of you for your warm and wonderful support. What a terrific community. Many, many thanks!!!