Despite the packaging on the Basil clearly reading “keep me away from the cold”, the packet of Basil had ended up squished in the bottom of the fridge past it’s prime, alongside a few sprigs of floppy mint and some wrinkly cherry tomatoes.
Normally when I have left over Basil, I make myself some home-made pesto and as I only had a few sprigs of mint left, I decided to throw them in. I’ve never made any other pesto other than bog standard pesto but I’ve heard adding mushrooms, mint and a whole other host of ingredients can create great variations on the original.
I couldn’t remember the correct measurements so I just threw all the herbs into a blender with two tbsps of toasted pine-nuts, a crushed garlic clove and a good glug of olive oil. I always find pesto takes a while to blend, during the blending I gave the mix an occasional stir and gradually added more olive oil until I was happy with the consistency.
After I tipped the mix out of the blender for a taste test, I discovered my hap hazard approach to pesto making had led to me missing out a vital ingredient…parmesan.
The best thing about making any paste from fresh herbs, is that it pro-longs the life of the herbs and can be used for a huge variety of dishes such as pasta sauces, meat marinades or salad dressings.
I decided to go for the old BBQ classic of grilled halloumi and cherry tomatoes, a proper recipe for which can be found at bonappetit.com.
As I didn’t have a BBQ, or any skewers, I continued with my hap hazard approach to cooking by throwing halloumi and cherry tomatoes into an oven-proof dish, and whacked them underneath the grill for 5 minutes before mixing with the pesto.
And hey presto, a few wrinkly past their best ingredients created a great dish that can be eaten as an appetizer or lightish supper/salad.
- Mushroom Pesto (tastewithoutborders.com)
- Pesto Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Halloumi (healthnhorizons.com)
- Lamb Burgers with Mint-Feta Pesto (williams-sonoma.com)
- Open Halloumi and Veg Lasagne (food4fork.com)
- Sea Bass Poached with Tomatoes and Pesto (williams-sonoma.com)
- My Mum’s Pesto (charlottesomethymes.wordpress.com)