We’re all in favour of teaching new skills and this week we decided homemade pesto is on the menu. Don’t be alarmed at the amount of olive oil we’ve suggested the Mediterranean diet is famed for its health benefits, which can be attributed to the extensive use of olive oil. Olive oil is crazy good for you due to its sky high antioxidant levels and omega-9 content. Omega-9 is one of the ‘good fats’ everyone speaks of, with a plethora of health benefits. Olive oil is 85% good fat so tuck in!!!
Boxes and ingredients are packed in facilities that handles Peanut, Nuts, Sesame, Fish, Crustaceans, Milk, Egg, Mustard, Celery, Soya, Gluten and Sulphites. Due to the conflict in Ukraine, it has been necessary to substitute sunflower oil with rapeseed oil in some products without a label change. The FSA have advised that allergic reactions to rapeseed oil are rare.
Grated Hard Italian Style Cheese(ContainsMilk, Egg)
Orzo(ContainsCereals containing Gluten)
Vegetable Stock Pot(ContainsCelery, Sulphites)
Cut the shallot in half through the root, peel and then finely chop into ½cm pieces. Peel and grate the garlic (or use a garlic press if you have one). Cut the top and bottom off the courgette, then cut in half lengthways. Cut each half into four strips lengthways, then chop the strips into 1cm cubes. Chop the tomato into 1cm cubes. Finely chop the basil and half the rocket (leaves and stems of both!). Tip:Don’t worry, there may be a lot of prep, but it’s all plain sailing from here!
Put a frying pan on medium heat (no oil!) and add the pine nuts. Dry-fry for 1 minute, or until they start to turn golden. Tip:Watch them like a hawk or they will burn! Once golden, tip your pine nuts onto your chopping board and chop them as finely as you can (don’t wash the pan, you’ll use it later to dry-fry the courgette!).
Put your basil, chopped rocket and pine nuts in a bowl. Sprinkle in the hard Italian cheese, a pinch of salt and a good grind of black pepper and pour in your best quality olive oil (amount specified in the ingredient list). Add a quarter of your garlic and mix everything together thoroughly, this is your pesto. Tip:If you have a food processor, you can use it here, but we prefer the satisfaction of doing it by hand!
For your tomato salad, squeeze the lemon juice into another bowl and pour in a drizzle of olive oil. Add your tomato and a quarter of your shallot and mix everything together.
Put your remaining shallot in a saucepan with a drizzle of oil on medium heat and cook for 3-4 mins, then add the rest of your garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Add the orzo and stir it around until it is nicely coated, then pour in the water (amount specified in the ingredient list) and add the vegetable stock pot.
Bring to the boil, then turn the heat down and simmer for 10 mins or until your pasta is ‘al dente’ and the liquid has been absorbed. Tip:‘Al dente’ simply means the pasta is cooked through but has a tiny bit of firmness left in the middle. Stir from time to time to ensure it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan! Tip:If all the liquid has been absorbed and the pasta is not quite cooked, just add a little more water and keep cooking.
While your pasta is cooking, put the pan you used for your pine nuts back on medium heat without any oil. Once the pan is hot, add your courgette and cook for 7-8 mins until charred, turning occasionally. Once charred, remove the pan from the heat. Tip:If they are not very charred, just leave them cooking for a bit longe
Once your pasta is cooked, stir through three-quarters of your pesto along with your courgette. Serve in bowls with the rest of your rocket, tomato salad and a spoonful of remaining pesto on top.