Last Saturday morning I discovered a new farmers market at Bondi Public School (5 Wellington Street Bondi NSW 2026). It was only the second week the market had been running, so there wasn’t a heap of stalls competing for attention, but the stalls that were there had excellent produce. There were fresh pastas, a mushroom guy, cherries, a few fruit and veggie stalls and a very reasonably priced flower and potted herbs stall. I hope it continues to grow in popularity and more stalls are attracted along. I couldn’t walk past the enormous bunches of basil being sold by one of the stalls, with roots intact. I love the smell of a fresh bunch of basil, and it inspired me to make a batch of pesto.
There are unlimited variations on the pesto theme, I have made a pistachio and lemon pesto, but you could substitute walnut oil and walnuts, or any other flavoured oils, nuts or herbs to come up with new twists on the classic.
You will never want to reach for the supermarket shelf version after you make your own pesto and see how easy and delicious it is. I tip with pesto that I have found very handy, is that it freezes really well, so when basil is at a good price I make a large batch and freeze any leftovers I’m not using straight away in small containers, ready to defrost and use as needed in the future. If you don’t have a food processor, you could use a pestle and mortar or even finely chop the ingredients minus the oils, then add to the oils.
If you are not sure what to do with your pesto once you have made it, the options are enormous, some examples that spring to mind include tossing it through pasta, added in a sandwich, mixed in with scrambled eggs or used to make a potato salad.
Pistachio and Lemon Pesto
- 50g shelled pistachios
- 1 large bunch of basil
- 1 small clove of garlic
- 50g grated parmesan
- 2 tablespoons of pistachio oil
- 3 tablespoons of lemon infused olive oil
- zest and juice of 1 small lemon
- Heat oven to 180°C and toast your pistachios for 10 minutes.
- Allow the pistachios to cool.
- Pick your basil leaves and add to your food processor bowl (don’t worry if some of the younger tender stalks make their way into the bowl).
- Add the pistachios, garlic, parmesan, pistachio oil, lemon olive oil, lemon juice and zest to the food processor bowl.
- Blitz the food processor until everything is just combined. Your pesto is ready to use or transfer to containers for later use. Enjoy.
What is your favourite use for herbs? Has this post inspired any new ideas?