Pesto can give any food a mega boost of flavour as well as a huge nutrient boost. A great way to get raw food into us, especially the wonderful health benefits of raw garlic and increase our intake of herbs. So it’s win, win!

Pesto really just means “to crush” in Italian, so grab your pestle or blender and get crushing. See my recipe below on rough ratios to use, but you’re free to alter and change as you and your tastebuds desire!

Pestos are delicious drizzled over poached eggs or any salad, mixed into an omelette, in a sandwich, a simple pasta dish or revive leftovers … anywhere really!

 

Sorrel leaves and three-cornered-leek found on a walk

A recent herb course I went on really opened my eyes to pestos, thanks Jo! The truth is all you need is a green herb (like the nettles growing in the garden), some type of nuts, an acid like lemon, apple cider vinegar, garlic. And you can have great fun playing with flavours.

My discovery of pesto came in really handy on a recent trip to Cape Clear island in West Cork.

There is only one small shop so you have to get creative with a limited food supply. On a lovely long walk I was dreaming of lunch and thinking pesto but we had no basil, no Parmesan and no garlic in the cupboards. So instead I looked at what was growing around me. I found some nettles, cleavers (remember these guys from last week), sorrel, and finally at the end of the walk some wild garlic (actually it was three cornered leek, but as I understand it pretty much the same thing) … how perfect!

I blended the herbs up with a handful of walnuts, a squeeze of lemon juice and olive oil … delicious and nutritious drizzled over leftover roast chicken. A walk to the shops took on a whole new meaning!

 

Pesto recipe:

200g green herb (basil, nettle, kale, rocket etc. or a mix)

100g nut or seed(cashew, walnut, pinenuts, pumpkin seeds)

2 garlic cloves or a bunch of wild garlic

3tbsp good quality extra virgin olive oil

2tbsp apple cider vinegar

pinch of sea salt

Whizz up until smooth and transfer to a clean jar. It should keep for a week in the fridge

 

Pesto with nut and seed bread

 

So next time you’re outside take a look at what’s growing around you and think pesto!!

Is mise le meas,
Richael

 

 

 

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