Saturday, 23 September 2017

Nasturtium Pesto

When Channel 4 phoned and said would I be interested in cooking with Michel Roux Junior on television, this was the recipe I came up with, on top of a chilled summer cucumber soup. I think I was a bit overwhelmed to be honest. I'm still a bit confused by my decision, and couldn't tell you where on earth it came from, but it is definitely tasty. I was inspired by the Ouseburn farm where I get some of my veg, it was August last year and there were huge beds of bright nasturtiums climbing all over, little courgettes, herbs and spiky cucumbers all waiting to be picked. So I made the soup and Michel made the pesto, he was very nice if you're interested, very nice indeed...

It seems like Autumn is on it's way in , but I still have nasturtium leaves creeping all over the allotment, so if you have access to any you could give this a go...

You need approximately 25g nasturtium leaves. These are very easy to grow in a pot if you fancy, just chuck a packet of seeds in some compost early summer and they should provide you with spicy leaves and edible flowers all summer. Pick 6 mint leaves and 10 nasturtium seed pods. These look a bit like capers and have a massively spicy kick to them, when the flowers wilt you're left with a seed pod, which you can eat, or keep and plant again. You will need 25g pumpkin seeds or pinenuts, a pinch of salt, olive oil and a squeeze of lemon.

Michel does things properly so set about this is a pestle and mortar, but I mostly use my little whizzer; don't tell him. Add the nasturtium leaves, mint, seed pods, pumpkin seeds, a pinch of salt and a good glug of olive oil to the whizzer and blend until smooth. You might need to add more oil, I like it so you can drizzle it off a spoon rather than a thick paste, but it's up to you. Add the lemon juice at the end to taste, just a dash should do.

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Happy cooking! Let me know if you make any of my recipes, send a picture, and let me know any of your own recipes and tips! Anna x