I eat quite a lot of pesto so it makes sense I make it.
The above dish (not actually made by me, exactly…) is topped with a paltry splodge of my first attempt at basil pesto. I made said pesto last Thursday evening and, all in all, it was a bit of a pesto drama.
I’ll set the scene: it was 8pm and I had gathered all my ingredients together ready to make a homemade pesto to go with the pasta bubbling away on the hob; I had Youtubed a basil pesto-making vid and was all set to go. I dropped my leaves and Parmesan etc – along with some walnuts for a laugh – into the Magimix. I pressed the ‘on’ button with what I’d shamefully describe as smug anticipation. I’d never used a Magimix before. And then… Nothing. It wouldn’t switch on.
I tried again. And again. But to no avail. Distressed, I removed my expectant pasta from the hob and drained it without even checking to see if it was cooked. (It wasn’t). I callously upended a jar of shop-bought pesto onto the poor penne and to top it all off, literally, I dumped the last of my Quorn chicken salad pieces into it. It was a disaster. Not least because the pasta was practically still crunchy.
I fell off the classy food bandwagon in style that night and felt so dirty I couldn’t even take a picture of my dinner for fun’s sake… It was actually worse than my old go-to of Supernoodles covered in cheddar cheese and cherry tomatoes.
Anyway, the above smidgeon of homemade pasta eventually came into being at about 10.30pm that night – when BF got home and explained I hadn’t clicked the Magimix lid in properly. Hmph.
Last night, I decided to give the pesto another stab.
This time, Magimix knowledge down, I followed a Jamie Oliver basics recipe which was super-easy and super-tasty, even if I do say so myself.
1) Take three handfuls of basil leaves
2) A handful of grated Parmesan
3) A handful of pine nuts
4) Half a clove of chopped garlic
5) Half a tsp of salt and pepper and the juice of half a lemon
6) A glug of Extra Virgin olive oil (adding more if you see fit)
7) Shove all that little lot into a blender or food processor and whizz until pesto-like.
And this is the result: a thick and chunky aromatic, very green and tasty fresh pesto (on top of some Atlantic salmon).
The above salmon dish is also a Jamie Oliver recipe. Here is what I did.
1) Topped and tailed some green beans.
2) Cooked them in salted water for three to four minutes
3) Drained them
4) Placed them in the centre of a big sheet of tinfoil
5) Popped a piece of salmon, which I had drizzled with a smidgeon of oil, on top
6) Spooned two big dollops of pesto onto the salmon
7) Squeezed lemon juice on top and sprinkled with pepper
8) Created a little salmon and pesto parcel by scrunching the edges of the tinfoil together
9) Cooked it all on gasmark 200 for 15 minutes, as suggested by Jamie
10) Ooh, almost forgot: five minutes before all this I had boiled a pan of water and added some new potatoes ( 20-25 minutes cooking time).
The end result looked like this:
All in all, it was good. However, now I’m getting to know the oven (!), I’d say it could have done with 11 rather than 15 minutes . So bear that in mind, cooking virgins.
Oh, and on a side note, this is what the kitchen looks like at the moment:
Baked Salmon, homemade pesto, and green beans stats:
Kitchen cock-ups: The salmon was overcooked. Nice but overcooked.
Pesto rating: 9/10, this time.
Number of tiles on kitchen wall: Zero.
Amount of dust removed from kitchen surfaces pre-cooking: Lots.