Rocket and Walnut Pesto
Since the day I started cooking, I’ve loved making Pesto. In fact, when I first started this blog, my very first recipe was for a mixed herb pesto using the various herbs growing in my garden. Although it’s difficult to beat the classic Pesto alla Genovese – with basil, pine nuts, garlic, parmesan, pecorino and extra virgin olive oil, there are numerous different types of pesto from all over Italy. This is no such Italian variation but it is my favourite type of pesto.
Rocket adds a distinct spiciness to the sauce and, mixed with the aromatic basil creates a great balance. I find it extremely difficult to source good pine nuts – not only is the quality poor, they are also prohibitively expensive representing poor value for money. Walnuts are an excellent alternative and work well with rocket. Try to use a fairly mild extra virgin olive oil here – the rocket is peppery enough without adding a peppery oil into the equation too.
Pesto will keep in a steralised jar for at least a month. Ensure there is a layer of oil covering all of the ingredients and no mould should form.
1 clove of Garlic (roughly chopped)
110g Rocket Leaves
Handful of Basil Leaves
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
60g Freshly Grated Pecorino Cheese (or Parmesan)
Put the walnuts and garlic into a food processor and blitz for a few seconds. Add the rocket and basil. Turn the processor onto a medium speed and drizzle in enough oil that the pesto can blitz to a smooth consistency. Put the blitzed mixture into a mixing bowl and add the pecorino before mixing in enough extra virgin olive oil to give the desired consistency. Add salt to taste.