The spring sauce
Broad bean and pistachio pesto
Prep 20 min Serves 4
1kg broad beans in their pods, or 250g podded beans 2 garlic cloves, peeled 1 large bunch basil 1 large bunch parsley, leaves picked 50g shelled pistachios, lightly toasted 125ml extra-virgin olive oil 1 handful freshly grated parmesan (I use a vegetarian one; optional) Salt
If you want a really green pesto, blanch the herbs in boiling water for a few seconds, but I rarely bother.
Blanch the podded broad beans for about two minutes, drain (keeping the water for later) and, if you can face it, pop the green interiors out of their dusky shells for a sweeter pesto.
Next blanch the garlic in the same water for two minutes, to mellow it out a little. Add it to a food processor with the podded beans, the basil, parsley, pistachios and a good pinch of sea salt.
Pulse a few times, then, with the motor running, drizzle in the oil until you have a coarse pesto. Season with more salt and a tiny squeeze of lemon if needed.
The pesto will keep in the fridge for up to five days and up to three months in the freezer.
Uses for your pesto
Pasta – I like pappardelle and rigatoni best. Add a little of the pasta cooking water to loosen the pesto, then top with more parmesan.
A dressing for roasted vegetables – it’s particularly good with carrots and squash.
With just-cooked grains – rice, quinoa, couscous. Top with feta and rocket or more herbs.