Mmm Pesto…that ‘green mush’ looking paste that makes EVERYTHING (okay, almost everything) taste amazing!
Now there’s nothing wrong with ordinary pesto, you know the original kind with loads of olive oil, pine nuts and delicious Parmesan cheese; but I find that the flavour can sometimes be too intense and definitely not something I want to be ‘dolloping’ all day, every day.
So, with a surplus of beautiful home-grown basil at the moment, what is a girl to do? Well, make a pesto of course, but with a delicious combination of nuts, seeds, lime juice, garlic and of course our hero herb…BASIL! A vegan version of pesto if you will.
Now, before we launch in to the recipe, let’s please all take moment to admire how beautiful this basil is too! The fact that I waltzed outside to the veg patch to pick it this morning really is the icing on the cake.
There’s something about growing your own food that’s so fulfilling, I can’t quite put my finger on it, but I really do encourage you to dust off your green thumb (even if it’s currently non-existent) and grow whatever you can with the space you have.
I confess, I am super lucky to have a sizeable patch at our family home that’s lovingly cared for by mother (who is an epic green thumb!). She is a wealth of knowledge and takes great pride in taking care of the veg patch, in addition to professional skills in bird swatting and slug deterring (no animals/insects are ever harmed I promise though…she won’t even let us kill flys!) as she is a crazy woman when it comes to ensuring our growing fruit and veg remains intact.
Without mum to answer my nagging questions, PLUS a short stint working in a garden nursery, my knowledge about edible gardening would be non-existent, we definitely had nothing like the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden program when I was at school.
So my questions to you are? Do you grow any of your own food at home? Or do you want to but don’t know where to start?
I’m thinking of potentially running a practical TAS workshop later in the year on the basics of edible gardening with a talented lady who currently teaches kids and families to grow their own food? Would anyone be interested?
Shoot me a comment below if you are or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Okay so now for the recipe…
Basil and Lime Pesto
Makes 1 small jar.
1/2 cup cashews
2 tbs pepitas
2 massive handfuls of basil leaves (or one large bunch)
Good pinch sea salt
Juice of half small lime (or lemon)
1 small garlic clove
1/4 cup olive oil (for a ‘runnier’ consistency add a little more)
Add all the ingredients into a high-powered blender or food processor and blitz until desired consistency is achieved (I like mine a little chunky).
If the mixture appears too wet, green and/or sludgy, then add another 1-2 tbs of cashews. Remember to taste as you go and season with salt and pepper accordingly.
Transfer into a small glass jar and keep in the fridge for 1-2 weeks.
You can be a bit adventurous with the nuts/seeds used. Sunflowers seeds in place of the cashews can provide a great nut-free option. Macadamias in place of the cashews is another great option- just be mindful that you may need a little less olive if you use them, due to the higher fat content.