Pesto wasn’t something that was ever found in my fridge whilst growing up. I’m not sure why this was really. Perhaps my parents didn’t like it, or maybe they just never thought of buying it whilst out doing the weekly food shop. Whatever the reason was, it meant that until the age of about 13 I had never tried pesto.
Now believe it or not, as a child I was quite a fussy eater, so you can imagine my panic when I was first served up a bowl of pasta coated with pesto at a friends house. It looked like a plate of green mush. I slowly lifted the green covered penne tube to my mouth and just threw it in. What happened next was a complete surprise to me… I carried on eating it! The whole bowl was gone in a matter of minutes and I found myself wondering just how I had gone through 13 years of existence without experiencing such an amazing taste. After this I must have asked my Dad to buy a jar in next weeks food shop, because the next memories of pesto I have are returning home from school and making myself a bowl of pesto coated pasta.
What I didn’t realise at the time was the variety of flavours of pesto that actually existed. This was something I discovered at University as every student fridge would contain at least two types of pesto without fail. Another thing I didn’t realise about pesto until a few years further down the line was just how easy it is to make yourself. As long as you have a food processor, or a pestle and mortar, and some fresh herbs then you pretty much have fresh pesto.
Think about how often you throw out fresh herbs. Everyone is guilty of it. A dish you’re making calls for some fresh basil but once it’s made you still have pretty much the whole bunch left, what do you do with the leftover basil? You throw it away. Even when you try and use it up in a few other dishes there always seems to be loads left. Well pesto is the solution here guys! No matter what the herb, as long as it’s fresh and leafy, it can be made into pesto. Give it a go, and mix it up by using different nuts or seeds.
I’ve chosen coriander and almonds here just to show you that pesto doesn’t always have to be basil or pine nut based. It’s time to go pesto crazy!!
1 large bunch of fresh coriander
60g of whole almonds
50g parmesan, grated
4 garlic cloves, peeled
150-200ml of olive oil
Salt and fresh black pepper to taste
- Put all of the ingredients into a food processor (apart from the salt and pepper) and blend on a high speed until your pesto is a nice, smooth consistency.
- Taste and add the salt and pepper and any additional olive oil if you wish.
- Serve with pasta, in sandwiches or smothered on lamp chops! All three ways taste great!