Today pasta man and I went for a mini road trip to the Gellibrand market and then on to Cafe Moby at Torquay for lunch (where no 2 son is a pizza chef). Our friends (Judy and Andrew) have an olive oil & related products stall at the market and we had a lovely time catching up with them & strolling around the funky little market. I ended up buying some candied nuts, the brightest pumpkin you have ever seen, some mixed berry jam (to go with the scones I am going to make) and a potato on a stick “curlee” thing. It was a perfect day for drive but I wish the land was a little greener (they haven’t had any rain for over 2 months). We had to have a pizza (wood fired oven) at Moby’s, it was hard to decide which pizza to have but we settled on the mushroom pizza and really enjoyed it.
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