Passover is one of our favorite Jewish holidays because of the symbolism of the Seder. It’s always the holiday we bring non-Jewish friends to (pre-Covid) to learn about being Jewish. If you are not a member of the tribe and have been invited to a Sedar, you may have shown up starving and realized that you are in for a long night. (For a great rendition of this panic, watch this skit by Sebastian Maniscalco) To avoid the Sedar starvation panic, we usually start our Passover with a light appetizer before we begin. This recipe for Labneh with Parsley & Pistachio Pesto is perfect for any occasion and a great recipe to welcome in Spring. We use the term “pesto” loosely, as the topping for the labneh is everything we love in a pistachio pesto, but we haven’t blended the ingredients together. The result is lots of bright flavors on top of the creamy labneh with an extra crunch from the pistachios.
Labneh with Parsley & Pistachio Pesto
The perfect appetizer for your Passover seder or any spring gathering.
- 2 cups labneh (you can substitute whole milk Greek yogurt)
- 2 cups packed parsley leaves
- 3/4 cup pistachios
- 2 large cloves garlic
- zest of 2 lemons
- 1 tsp red chili flakes
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- Spread the labneh into an even layer in a shallow small serving bowl or a small salad plate. Set aside.
- Put the parsley leaves, pistachios, and garlic into a food processor. Pulse the blender to finely chop the ingredients. Do not over-blend the ingredients, you are just looking for a fine chop. Remove the parsley mixture from the blender into a small bowl. Add the lemon zest and chili flakes to the parsley, stir to combine.
- Start by adding about half of the recommended olive oil to the parsley mix. You want the mixture to have the consistency of wet sand, but not drowning in olive oil. Add up to the full amount of 1/3 cup if necessary. Season with salt and pepper.
- Dollop the parsley mix on top of the labneh. Serve with a variety of fresh vegetable and matzah, if desired.