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pistachio pesto hummus spread

by Jackie Newgent  |  August 27, 2012  |  4 Comments


pistachio pesto hummus spread

Makes 8 servings: 1/4 cup each

I’m always on the lookout for mouthwatering ways to include pistachios into cuisine. They’re such a delightful culinary nut. My most recent pick: pesto mayo! Even just saying those two words makes my mouth water. But I’ll admit I have a bit of a guilt factor when I’m enjoying a sandwich with the extra-luscious spread because I know it’s extra caloric. So off to the kitchen to whip up a better-for-me—and better-for-you—sandwich spread. But this new recipe goes beyond simply being a delectable match for a sandwich. It’s tasty as an inspired pistachio “hummus” paired with cherry tomatoes, sweet bell pepper strips, or practically any seasonal veggie. I love it when a recipe can multitask! Serve it up at your next picnic or cookout alongside ketchup and mustard (it’s a terrific topper for veggie or poultry burgers) and as your dip of choice.

Calories Saved: 190

Disclosure Note: At time of posting, Jackie Newgent, RDN, CDN worked with Wonderful Pistachios to help people make healthier snack choices.

  1. Add all ingredients to a high-powered blender or food processor. Cover and puree until velvety smooth, about 3 minutes. If necessary, add green tea by the teaspoon for a thinner consistency.
  2. Adjust seasoning. Cover and chill until ready to serve.

Per serving: 130 calories, 8g total fat, 1g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 250mg sodium, 12g total carbohydrate, 3g dietary fiber, 1g sugars, 4g protein


The “Before” Recipe

pesto mayo

Inspired by recipe at

Makes 4 servings: 3 tablespoons each

1 cup packed fresh basil leaves
1/3 cup pine nuts, pan-toasted
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup mayonnaise

  1. Add the basil, pine nuts, garlic, salt, and pepper to a food processor or blender and puree.
  2. With the machine running, add the oil through the feed tube and process until the basil mixture is smooth.
  3. Add the cheese and pulse to evenly combine. Add the mayonnaise and pulse to evenly combine.
  4. Adjust seasoning. Cover and chill until ready to serve.

Per serving: 320 calories, 34g total fat, 5g saturated fat, 0g trans fat,10mg cholesterol, 460mg sodium, 3g total carbohydrate, 1g dietary fiber, 0g sugars, 4g protein


Tasteover Tips

  • Switch up the nuts; pistachios provide unique flavor interest in place of traditional pine nuts
  • Go for an oil change; roasted pistachio oil is as flavorful as extra-virgin olive oil and enhances the nutty flavor when using pistachios
  • Consider incorporating beans to create creaminess; combine with green tea and lemon juice to get the right consistency in a tasty way
  • Get more body by using beans; it allows for a bigger (4 instead of 3 tablespoon) serving size here
  • It’s okay to skip the Parmesan cheese when it gets somewhat lost with all of the other flavors … and it’ll keep this tasteover recipe vegan if you do forgo it



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