(The above image features our small bowl blue tulip which is now discontinued however it is available in other patterns which you can view here)
For such a simple, one-instruction recipe, pesto is a flavourful and uplifting sauce.
In recent times, to overcome shortages of some foods you may have shifted your shopping habits to more local options that can get hold of what you’re looking for - a delivery from your nearest grocer, or a weekly seasonal veg box. If you haven’t I can highly recommend it, as a way of supporting your nearest independent shops who need us most at this time and to keep the community strong.
So, maybe there’s no basil available, or no pine nuts to come by, both of the traditional elements in pesto. But you will be able to find many alternatives that are easy to sub in - there are endless pesto experiments to be done! It’s also possible to use parts of veg that local shops often include that supermarkets don’t think we can handle and to make something of them rather than waste them, such as beet or carrot tops. Both of these are not only full of flavour but highly nutritious. Our favourite alternative is kale pesto. Oft hailed a superfood, if such things exist, kale is certainly a ‘powerhouse of nutrients’, brimming with vitamins and minerals, and it’s a brilliant and vivid colour too. Excitingly, pesto is not just for pasta! Spread it on bread instead of butter, have it like a dip with raw veg, or add a generous dollop into a scrambled egg mixture.
So, in these continuing semi-lockdown times, for want of travel options and dining out possibilities, all you need to do is whizz up any combination of the ingredients below, switch your screen background to a Ligurian beach scene and transport yourself mentally and gastronomically to the Mediterranean. Done!
85g kale / rocket / baby spinach / beet and/carrot tops
85g pine nuts / cashews / walnuts / almonds
85g parmesan / extra mature cheese – coursely grated
3 cloves of garlic – crushed
75ml extra virgin olive oil
- Put all the ingredients in a blender and whizz until smooth.
Some notes on alternative ingredients
If you’re using kale remove the thick stalks and only use the frilly leaves. Carrot tops can be slightly bitter so add a few basil leaves to offset this and give a more rounded flavour. Seasoning with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper is optional.
Some notes on storage
To store any left-over pesto or if you’re not using it immediately, keep it in the fridge in a jar or similar container and cover the surface with olive oil to seal it from the air. Make a double batch and freeze some for another time. It can be frozen for up to a month.