My entire family adores pesto. Eggplant? Well, it doesn’t encourage equal affection in my crew (Ben and I are mad for eggplant, while my brother labels it “Devil food”). And as for pâté and other livery goods, well, this time I’m the odd one out. I detest the stuff.
No, my family and I do not always see eye to eye on food matters. But we do agree on pesto.
There’s nothing like a rich scoop of fragrant, herby green goodness mixed through hot pasta with a splash of the pasta cooking water and a splosh of extra virgin olive oil. I always like to have a sturdy supply of pesto in the fridge, for those languid Thursday nights when dolloping and swirling is all you can muster.
Our family favourite comes from Paul’s Pesto, which we pick up at the Red Hill Market. It’s a basil and pinenut blend. Though lately I’ve been loving on parsley and so decided to whip up a parsley pesto using almonds. The resulting sauce was so lovely and fresh and energetic, and such a cheeky Kermit green. It was delicious pooled over hot pasta with roasted mushrooms and parmesan shavings sitting pretty up top. Yes, I’m quite pleased with my parsley pesto.
My family are too…
Parsley Almond Pesto
Makes 1 jam jar full
5 heaping cups fresh flat leaf Parsley (mainly the leafy part but some stalks are fine)
1/2 heaping cup Almonds, unsalted
1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tablespoon fresh Lemon Juice
1/2 small clove Garlic, crushed
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
A pinch of salt
1. Roast your almonds in a hot 180 degree Celsius oven for ~15 minutes until toasty and golden. Allow to cool completely.
2. In a food processor, blitz the parsley and almonds. Add the oil slowly and blitz to combine. Add the lemon juice, garlic, cheese and salt then blitz again. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary.
3. Serve with hot al dente pasta, a splash of the pasta cooking water to help distribute the pesto and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil). I also served mine with roasted flat mushrooms (roasted in the oven with olive oil, salt and pepper for ~40 minutes then sliced) and extra parsley and parmesan.