Summertime pesto

Nothing says summer like fresh herbs. It might be raining outside (as it is today, and for 75% of the British summer) but a pesto made of fresh mint, rocket and wet garlic (although regular garlic is fine too) slathered on a bit of grilled fish, stuffed under the skin of a roast chicken breast or simply stirred into hot spaghetti, is a guaranteed way to bring a bit of sunshine into your life.

This pesto recipe uses rocket, mint, garlic and lemon, because that’s what I had knocking around, but obvs you can vary the herbs. I’m pretty interested in trying a coriander and chili version, or you could always go trad and use basil.

As always, excuse the shoddy pics – click through for recipe.

Ingredients (serves 2-3)

1 handful of rocket

4-5 springs of fresh mint, leaves removed from stalks

A piece of wet garlic stalk, around 3 inched long, or one clove of garlic, peeled

Zest and juice of 1 lemon

2 tablespoons of grated parmesan

10 raw almonds

Extra virgin olive oil

salt/pepper

Directions

Place almonds in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Leave for 5mins, drain, peel. Toast gently in a dry frying pan and roughly chop.

Place all ingredients in a blender with enough olive oil to just cover and blend to a paste. You could use a mortar and pestle, which I’m sure is more correct (and I think I have read it creates a better flavour through crushing rather than chopping the herbs), but unless you have a really good stone one, it would take forever to get it good and pasty, and the blender version works well enough.

Place in a bowl, add cheese, taste, season accordingly with salt and pepper. It should appear thus:

If it looks dryer and like it won’t stir easily into pasta, add more oil.

Stir into pasta, or whatever you’re having it with, and eat.

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