Green Pasta Salad with Pistachio Pesto


Preparation info

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  • A Creamy Side Salad for


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By Sally Butcher

Published 2014

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Left: Green Pasta Salad with Pistachio Pesto

This is a simple salad, but it is very moreish – and such a pretty shade of green. I usually use kritheraki or orzo pasta for this (the one that looks just like rice), but you can use any pasta that takes your fancy. One’s carnivorous husband likes this with added chopped mortadella, but frankly I think the meat is quite unnecessary.


  • 300 g/10½ oz.kritheaki
  • 100 g/ oz/ cup pistachio kernels
  • 3–4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • handful of fresh basil
  • big handful of fresh parsley and (cilantro) sliced
  • tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 100 ml/ fl oz. scant ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 bunch of spring onions (scallion(s)), chopped
  • 1 fat courgette (zucchini), cut into matchsticks
  • 150 g/ oz. scant 1 cup pitted green olives, sliced
  • 1 tsp sumac (optional)


Bring a pan of salted water to the boil, add a dash of olive oil and tip in the pasta. Cook for 8–9 minutes (or as per the instructions on the pack if you are using another type of pasta), then drain and run under the cold tap a little to cool it down.

Put the pistachios in your blender (or use a pestle and mortar) and crush them with the garlic and most of the herbs (retain a little parsley/coriander for the garnish). Add the vinegar, then trickle the olive oil in real slow so that an emulsion is formed. Season the pesto to taste.

Put the pasta in a bowl with the onions, courgette and olives, and coat liberally with the pesto. Chop the retained herbs and sprinkle on top along with the sumac, if using.