Paul’s Early Spring Pesto

Ingredients for Early Spring Pesto

YUM!  We may be between growing seasons for a few more weeks but this killer pesto by Paul bridges the gap and more!!!  I can’t think of a better way to wrap up the getting-through-first-quarter-with-flavor resolution set in early January.  Holy smokes this is a good recipe.

We first had this pesto with mild fish and cous cous over the weekend, and I can now attest it’s even delicious simply spread over a slice of baguette.  This Early Spring Pesto would take a chicken or tuna sandwich to another level, and of course would elevate pastas too.  There is a secret ingredient which makes this pesto majical and that’s… fish sauce!  Let’s discuss.

What is fish sauce?  It’s a sauce made from water, anchovy extract, salt and sugar.  I admit to being hesitant about fish sauce, in part due to my assumption that it’s an MSG bomb, and in part due to having dishes where too much fish sauce is used.  But fish sauce doesn’t have to be about MSG at all, just check the ingredients.  And I think that some cooks may get a little heavy handed with it because it does add a je ne sai quois (umami in this case), it’s just that there’s a fine line regarding quantity!  Even though it’s called ‘sauce’, it’s on the watery side, so adding a dash right from the bottle can easily turn into too much.  Actual measuring is key with fish sauce.

Paul's Early Spring Pesto

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Print

Hands-On Time: 12 minutes

Kitchen Equipment: Measuring Cups and Spoons, Mortar & Pestle or Blender


– 1/2 Cup Parsley

– 1/4 Cup Dill

– 2 Big Cloves Garlic

– 1/8 Cup Shelled Pistachios

– 1/4 Tsp Red Pepper Flakes

– 2 Tbsp Olive Oil

– Juice from 1/2 Lemon (about 2 Tbsp)

– 1/2 Tsp Fish Sauce

– 1/2 Tsp Salt


– Add chili flakes to olive oil and set aside.

– Chop parsley, dill, garlic, and nuts to a medium-fine consistency.

– Add all ingredients to the mortar & pestle or blender.  Grind to a coarse consistency.

Prepped Ingredients for Early Spring Pesto

Serve immediately, store in an airtight container in the fridge for one week, or freeze for up to three months.

Early Spring Pesto

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