Veg Patch Pesto

Whilst it was raining heavily outside yesterday afternoon I was in the kitchen experimenting with different pestos using ingredients from the veg patch. I love traditional basil pesto, but I haven’t grown any this year, so mine are a bit more quirky.

First off, I made Kale Pesto with Cavolo Nero and Red Russian Kale. It is SUCH a vibrant green – it would look amazing served with Roast Chicken and New Potatoes. Another I tried was Carrot Top Pesto…I liked this for using leaves that would otherwise end up on the compost pile. It’s quite a strong parsley-like flavour, good with a steak! Finally, my little patch of Wild Rocket plants has more or less finished flowering, so rather than letting it reseed I harvested the whole lot and used that to make a Rocket Pesto.

Below is a basic pesto recipe that I use, and I titivate as I go along, adding more lemon or more oil as the mood takes me. I whizz the whole thing up in a blender and simply pop it into a kilner jar (I don’t sterilise the jar as I know I’ll use it up within a couple of days anyway).

Basic Pesto Recipe:

100g leaves – kale (with stalks removed), basil, carrot tops, parsley or wild rocket all work
150ml oil – olive oil or rapeseed oil, or a combination of the two
75g hard goats cheese – I prefer this to parmesan, but you can use whichever you prefer
50g chopped mixed nuts – I usually have these in the cupboard so it’s easier for me than buying pine nuts especially
1 small garlic clove, crushed
Pinch of sea salt
Squeeze of lemon juice

Bung it all into a mixer and whizz it up! Add more oil if you want a looser pesto for drizzling. And taste it to see if you want to add more lemon or sea salt, or you could add a little splash of white wine vinegar to give it a bit of zing.