Walnut pesto

Both of us are not keen on pesto that comes in a jar as it tends to be too oily (although both our kids love it!) and we have finally hit upon a homemade version which hopefully is worthy of getting an Italian’s seal of approval.  We didn’t have any pine nuts or grated Parmesan cheese but we think walnuts and Pecorino Romano works just as well.   The addition of walnut oil accentuates the taste of the walnuts in the pesto.  We had it for lunch today with some penne and tricolore salad.

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What do I need to make it?

  • 2 small bunches of fresh basil
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • Handful walnuts toasted
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp walnut oil
  • 1 heaped tablespoon of grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • Salt to taste

How much will I make?

A small bowl full – 6-8 heaped tablespoons

How do I make it?

Place the basil, garlic and walnut in a mixer or pestle and mortar and blend to a coarse paste.   Add the oils, cheese and adjust the seasoning.  Use it with your favourite pasta or as a spread on some grilled ciabata.

Salad therapy – Kerala dry chicken with coconut & yogurt dressing

We had a relative visit us over the weekend and had prepared some of Anna’s mum’s dry roast chicken curry as a snack.  We had some left over and this has formed the inspiration for this salad.  The dressing is simple to make and probably could work well with any Indian grilled/baked chicken dish (ie. tandoori chicken or chicken tikka masala).   The recipe for the chicken  (Chicken Ularthiyathu) was posted in an earlier blog – link below.

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The Dressing

What do I need to make it?

  • 2 tbsp fresh grated coconut
  • 3 tbsp yogurt
  • 1 green chilli chopped
  • Handful of fresh coriander and mint
  • Salt to taste

How much will I make?

100-150 ml

How do I make it?

Place all the ingredients in a food processor and blend to a fine paste.   Place warmed left over chicken pieces over salad leaves of choice and drizzle the dressing over.   Enjoy.

Related Links:

Chicken Ularthiyathu –  http://wp.me/p3oBch-M

Summer treats

Some of the things we look forward to during the English summer – strawberries and cream at Wimbledon, asparagus and Jersey royal potatoes.  Tonight we had 2 out of the 3 treats and I managed to whisk a hollandaise sauce for the first time.  I expected to scramble the eggs but was pleasantly surprised with the outcome (next challenge will be to make a poached egg breakfast with ham and hollandaise).  If you have never made this sauce try the recipe below which was straight forward (recipe courtesy of Love Food – Sauces).

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Hollandaise Sauce

What do I need to make it?

  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 115 gm unsalted butter – slightly softened and diced
  • Lemon juice (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

How much will I make?

Around 175 ml

How do I make it?

Pour the vinegar and water into a small heavy-based saucepan and bring to the boil.  Boil for 3 minutes, or until reduced by half.  Remove from the heat and leave to cool slightly.  Put the egg yolks in a heatproof bowl and beat in the cooled vinegar water.  Set over a saucepan of gently simmering water, ensuring that the the base of the bowl does not touch the simmering water.  Cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the mixture thickens slightly and lightly coats the back of the spoon.  Keeping the water simmering, add the butter, a piece at a time, stirring until the sauce is thick, smooth and glossy.  Add a little lemon juice if the mixture is too thick and to give a more piquant flavour.  Add salt and pepper to taste and serve warm.  We had the sauce over some steam asparagus .

Jersey royal potato salad

What do I need to make it?

  • 750 gms Jersey royal  potatoes, boiled, peeled and cubed
  • 4 sprigs of spring onion chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic minced
  • 150 ml sour cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste

How much will I make?

Serves 4

How do I make it?

Place boiled cubed potatoes in a large bowl.  Add the remaining ingredients and give it a good mix.  Enjoy.