Rocket Pesto

October 27th, 2008

I’ll never understand why people buy those horrid, bland ready made pasta sauces from the supermarket, full of who knows what and expensive! Pasta is the quickest, easiest thing to cook, you can often assemble a sauce in the time it takes to cook the pasta. Like this rocket pesto, and if you make lots, you can keep leftovers in the fridge for future quick pasta dinners. Below we had it as a quick lunch with some cherry tomatoes and bit of goats cheese that was languishing in the back of the fridge.

This is a recipe from Cranks Bible, one of my favourite recipe books. I remember discovering this at university when rocket was the trendy new thing, what a revelation, rocket pesto is not the same as a classic pesto with the sweet creaminess of pine nuts and basil, this is altogether different; peppery, garlicky, it really packs a culinary punch.

Rocket, parmesan, looots of garlic, lemon juice and almonds all blended into a knobbly paste. You can then keep it in a jar in the fridge for at least a month. Eat this with linguine, some oily black olives, and a few sunblush tomatoes for a pleasing colour contrast as much as anything. Cranky also suggests stirring into a risotto, half way through cooking the rice for rocket and parmesan risotto.


Makes about 6 portions

3 cloves garlic
50g parmesan or strong cheddar, grated finely
50g blanched almonds
150ml olive oil
a few basil leaves (optional)
½tsp grain mustard
juice ½ lemon
1 red chilli

Throw everything into a small blender with a generous amount of seasoning and whizz until smooth. Simple as that! Adjust the amount of seasoning and lemon juice according to taste and decant into a clean dry jar.

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