Tuesday, 22 June 2010
We waited weeks for the truly good growing conditions to arrive. A late frost gave us cause for concern and we thought for a few days that we’d lost the entire crop of potatoes - not to mention numerous salads.
Thankfully the sad looking leaves survived and thrived into lush green offerings. The rows of potatoes now stand tall and proud, a thick carpet of the distinctive green leaves cover half the garden like a layer of cloud.
Two lines of lettuce look perky and happy and we’ve already devoured three or four, one with a simple roast chicken with warm bread, some runny mayonnaise and freshly chopped lemon thyme.
The rocket is looking healthy as well: too healthy in fact. We returned after a couple of days away to find it reaching skyward in a manner that would please NASA. Thinking quickly we harvested as many of the oversize leaves as we could and pounded them along with some basil into a fresh, summery pesto.
Stirred into spaghetti it made a wonderful and very quick supper: fresh, peppery, warm with garlic and zingy with lemon. Sometimes a glut is a wonderful thing.
Spaghetti with rocket and brazil nut pesto
Although usually made with pine nuts, the Brazil nuts we found in the back of the cupboard proved to be an excellent substitute. The slightly creamy texture added a slight richness to the pesto.
Two large handfuls of rocket leaves, washed and dried
One handful of basil leaves
9-10 Brazil nuts
2 cloves of garlic
One lemon, zested and juiced
20g Parmesan or Grana Padano cheese, grated
Salt and pepper
Chop the rocket and basil leaves enough to make them fit into a pestle and mortar. Pound the Brazil nuts into a coarse powder then add the garlic and a pinch of sea salt and pound some more. Add the lemon zest then the rocket and basil leaves and continue mashing with the pestle until it begins to look like pesto. Add the olive oil until it is a certifiable sauce then stir in the grated cheese.
Season with sea salt, black pepper and lemon juice and stir through warm spaghetti.
Photographs by @photolotte (flickr)
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