Many people think of rosemary only as a winter herb. Her robust flavour and ability to dance with the heavyweights like roast lamb, beef and hearty root veggies tends to tuck this herb neatly into the cooler weather box of kitchen classics.
But I love rosemary whatever the season, and when, like now she is decked out in all her summer finerly with tiny blue blosoms like Christmas ornaments highlighting her prickles I just have to keep picking and use her in as many ways as possible.
Pestos are so simple to make, but many folks fall into the trap of just thinking there is only one sort available – the ubiquitous dull green basil pesto found in all supermarkets. This is such a shame as you can whip up your own pesto using a huge variety of ingredients and end up with something that will add that all important flash of flavour to all sorts of dishes.
This rosemary & walnut pesto is not for the feint hearted who like their pesto bland. This is one gutsy lady packed with robust flavours and more of a pesto putanesca! She is full of passion and vitality, you will not forget her in a hurry.
Like all pestos you can use this one to spread liberally on bruchetta, or just plain old toast if you don’t want to be fancy about it. Top with a few roasted baby tomatoes to zap up that flavour package. Rosemary loves tomatoes and I often use a sprinkling of chopped rosemary on a tomato salad instead of the usual basil as it really enhanses the flavour of the tomatoes without hiding their summer freshness.
The other great standard for pesto is of course to stir it through your pasta as a super simple fast food sauce. Fry some lardons or snips of bacon and toss these in as well. This robust pesto just relishes all that depth of flavour and you will have one heart meal on your plate within a few minutes.
So here is how to make this Rosemary & Walnut Pesto, it is quick and easy and oh so tasty, I’m sure you will be converted and find yourself blythly skipping past that boring green supermarket sludge from now on.
- 4 large sprigs (about 6" long) fresh rosemary
- 1 handfull chopped fresh parsley
- 2 cloves garlic
- 50g/2 oz walnuts
- ½ lemon grated zest and juice
- 50g/2 oz parmesan cheese
- approx 125ml olive oil
- Sea salt and black pepper
- Remove stalk from rosemary and chop roughly
- Toss the rosemary, parsley, garlic, walnuts and lemon zest and juice into food processor and blitz to a paste. Go rough or smooth, it is up to your own personal taste.
- Add the parmesan and blitz again.
- Now start pouring in the oil until you get the consistancy you like.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Allow to chill in the fridge for 30 minutes to let those flavours develop.