I make pesto all year round with whatever ingredients I have at hand. In summer, I make pesto from the fat-leafed sweet basil growing beneath my tomato plants. Autumn brings peppery rocket (arugula) pesto while winter is the season for kale pesto. During the ‘hungry gap’ months of early spring, when the winter vegetables are finished but the summer ones are not yet producing, I make pesto from the nettles that threaten to choke my veggie patch. I steam the nettles first to remove the stings.
Sometimes I combine the greens I use, mixing Italian parsley and basil, or kale and rocket. The nuts I use change with the seasons too. I rarely use pine nuts, preferring instead locally-grown almonds or walnuts.
This week I decided to create a pesto using the abundant rocket and limes in the garden and the Barossa almonds in my pantry. I served my rocket, lime and raw almond pesto with penne pasta, adding a little of the pasta cooking water to thin the pesto. Topped with a little grated parmesan, dinner was ready in less than fifteen minutes. Perfect.
- 100 grams rocket (arugula)
- ½ cup raw almonds
- ½ cup freshly grated parmesan
- ½ cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Freshly squeezed lime juice to taste
- Put the rocket (arugula), almonds, parmesan, garlic, oil and salt in a food processor and pulse until a paste is formed.
- Add lime juice to taste and mix well.
- Serve with pasta or as a dip.