Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Fruits of our labours

As regular readers of this blog (not sure if I should go with a plural there, but what the hell) will know, last year we became landed gentry and purchased a house with a garden. Well, I say house, but I really mean crumbling-building-once-used-as-a-house. Anyway, the barn is in the process of being made into a liveable space and should be done by July, but the house is no less, and possibly more, decrepit than it was this time last year.

But, setting aside all that, last week just before I went to Prague I made a pesto almost entirely from ingredients that we ourselves had grown. I say we grew them, but it seems a little too easy. Dig up some ground, stick some seeds in and then just let them get on with it. Though it doesn't always work, of course, since we do have one patch which seems to resolutely resist producing anything worthwhile (even the weeds grow slowly there).

So, anyway, without further ado, Pesto alla Bankfalva.
You will need:
  • Large handful or two of rocket/arugula/rucola (this was one of those words I learned in other languages before English, since when I was a lad we didn't have rocket and had to make do with lettuce)
  • A couple of cloves of garlic
  • Some walnuts (about 10 per handful of rocket). Shelled, of course.
  • Olive oil
  • Salt (these last two were the ones that didn't come from the garden)
Stick everything in a blender and errm, blend, until such time as it all has become a pesto like consistency. Add olive oil as required if more liquid is required. Cook pasta, and stick some of this delicious green gold on it and mix up a bit. Et voila! Or whatever Et voila is in Italian.

Now, there may be those who are at this moment boiling with rage about the un-pesto-ness of this pesto. Pesto purists, for example, will see the replacement of pine nuts with walnuts as an act of great treason (but pine nuts are unavailable here, and we have a walnut tree, so nerr). Also using rocket instead of basil will almost certainly set some peoples' teeth on edge (but our basil hasn't grown much yet, and the rocket is almost as prolific as the weeds, so double nerr, and anyway don't knock it until you try it - rocket pesto is the business). However, it also shouldn't be forgotten that pesto purists would insist that parmesan cheese ought to be in pesto, so I think we can safely conclude that pesto purists are mentalists who would rather make their primi smell of vomit, than eat something tasty and wonderful, so discounting their views is easy.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It's pesto Jim, but not as we know it...

I liked the barn in your garden from the earlier post BTW.

You could convert it into eco-friendly holiday accommodation where you serve your guests with organic/bio products fresh from the garden. :)