Nigella's Green Beans with Pistachio Pesto
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Nigella describes this dish as "a riot of verdiglouriousness". Whatever you call it, though, it's an easy, impressive side dish which shows off green beans at their best.
Recipe type: Side Dish
Serves: 8
  • 1 1⁄2 lbs trimmed green beans, cut in half or into short lengths
  • 1 tsp kosher salt (or ½ tsp table salt)
  • 3 tbsp shelled, unsalted pistachios
  • 3 tbsp grated parmesan
  • 1 cup packed fresh basil leaves
  • 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  1. Put a saucepan of water on for the beans, adding salt when it starts to boil.
  2. To make the pesto, put the pistachios, Parmesan, basil, and olive oil in a small bowl. Gratein (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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
Reprinted with permission from Nigellissima by Nigella Lawson, published by Knopf Canada, a division of Random House of Canada.
Recipe by Crumb: A Food Blog at