I’ve been buying my olive oil from Lighthouse Olives for a few years now; what a delight to take my 3 litre flagon to get refilled with the latest batch of oil and be tempted by other goodies they have for sale. Yesterday I bought a bucket of their olives and was very tempted to buy one of the beautiful rolling pins (every time I go there I want to buy one). I am lucky to live in a region with lots of vineyards and olive groves so buying from the producer is just a short drive away, apart from knowing my oil comes from, I can taste it and choose between varieties and it’s not much more expensive than buying oil in the supermarket!
The basil is ready for a heavy picking so pesto is on the menu today; this recipe came from a cooking class I did in Positano Italy (with a few adjustments). The recipe did solve a problem for me though as other recipes ask for a cup or so of basil leaves but it depends on how heavily you pack them in the cup. This recipe suggests a set number of leaves which is much better, so here is my tweaked pesto recipe with one magic ingredient….
- 50 - 60 young basil leaves
- 1 clove of garlic
- 30 gm pine nuts
- 100 gm finely grated parmesan cheese
- 150 ml extra virgin olive oil
- salt for seasoning
- 1 small boiled potato
- Gently wash the basil leaves and air dry (be careful not to bruise or crush them)
- Add all the above ingredients to a food processor or blender and blend until the sauce is ready
- If storing the pesto for a while, place the sauce in a glass container and cover with a little olive oil and keep in the the fridge (may be stored for a week)
- If using the pesto for a pasta dish, add a little of the pasta water to the pesto before adding the pasta & mix until distributed
- If making a dip add a little creme fraiche to some pesto and mix through
- Or add pesto to mayonnaise