There’s no recipe that British cookbook author and TV host Nigella Lawson can’t handle, which is why we were particularly excited to receive her new book. These pistachio pesto-coated green beans just made us very excited to eat our vegetables.
I can feel slightly self-conscious fiddling about with traditional pesto recipes when in its authentic original it is surely unbeatable. But having had such uplifting results with — admittedly still traditional — Sicilian variants, I decided that the uninhibited approach had something going for it, hence the substitution of pistachios for pine nuts in the pesto here. And, frankly, this was born to go with the green beans: it’s a riot of verdigloriousness!
- 1 1/2 pounds trimmed green beans, cut in half or into short lengths
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
- 3 tablespoons pistachios, shelled
- 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan
- leaves from a small bunch of fresh basil
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, peeled
- Put a saucepan of water on for the beans, adding salt when it starts to boil.
- To make the pesto, put the pistachios, Parmesan, basil and olive oil in a small bowl. Grate in (or mince and add) a little bit of the garlic – about a quarter of a clove – throwing the remaining piece of garlic into the bean water. Using an immersion blender, blitz the pesto ingredients to a thick green paste.
- Cook the beans to taste (check after 4 minutes), and, before draining, spoon a little of the cooking water (1 or 2 tablespoons is all you need) into the pesto bowl and blitz quickly to mix again with your immersion blender.
- Drain the beans (discarding the rogue garlic clove), and toss them in the bowl with the pesto, then transfer to a serving bowl, and take them fragrantly to the table.
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