basil feta & pistachio pesto

27th May 2012

I love basil. And when I enjoy something, I tend to overdo its availability.  Rather than plant one plant every so often, I plant 4 or 5 at once.  So hence, I have 4 very large basil plants that are growing vigorously.  An earlier plant I let go to seed.  We picked off the brown seeds and spread them in a bowl that now sits on the kitchen table.  Every day, a little shake, and the seeds give off a wonderful aroma, almost lavender-like in its scent.  I must admit though the bowl has been getting some strange looks as it looks very much like some sort of mind-altering substance that requires some burning.  I do assure everyone that it is pure basil. Heady enough on its own power.

With basil leaves in abundance, I have created a variety of pestos over the last few weeks.  This one is by far my favourite.  Basil, rocket, feta, parmesan, pistachios, olive oil, a squeeze of lemon juice and pepper and salt to taste.  Simple, but very tasty.  Uses are endless. Tossed through pasta, a salad or roasted vegetables; dip for crackers; spread on Turkish bread with roasted capsicum strips and toasted;  a side for patties of choice……..and on and on.

basil feta & pistachio pesto


fresh basil leaves (from 2 large bunches)

2 handfuls rocket (arugula leaves)

250g feta

¼ cup fresh, grated parmesan

approx. ¼ cup extra-virgin cold-pressed olive oil

2 Tbsp pistachio nuts

a good squeeze of lemon juice

fresh cracked black pepper

sea salt

a sprinkling of dried chilli seeds/flakes (optional)


1.  Add ½ the basil, rocket, parmesan, olive oil and pistachios to a mini-processor (or a large one if suits) – process till all ingredients combined.

2.  Add remaining basil leaves and extra oil if needed to blend smoothly – process again.

3.  Add feta, lemon juice, pepper and salt – process again.

4.  Taste and adjust ingredients to taste. Store in a sealed glass jar in the fridge.

Goodness shared from Donna

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