Rocket Pesto a la Syl

Rocket was growing in wild profusion in the garden bed. One of the few things growing in any sort of profusion in our veggie patch at Rema Rainbow Valley, Panchakshipura, Tamil Nadu. IMG_4964 (1)So I thought I’d find a good use for it – beyond a salad.

IMG_4969 (1)I had eaten rocket pesto before but never tried to make it, or indeed any sort of pesto.

Had time on my hands and a renewed interest in trying out new recipes. So I looked on line for a recipe and came upon one by Jamie Oliver. As only Jamie does he encourages you to play with the ingredients and so I did. His ingredients, my quantities.

Recipe loosely based on Jamie Oliver’s recipe, sourced from the Net.

  • 2 tightly packed cups freshly picked and washed rocket leaves (stems and all)
  • 15 cloves garlic (small Indian variety – probably use 6-8 of the fat ones you get in Australia)
  • 1/2 cup shelled walnuts chopped up a bit (next time I make this I’m going to increase it to 3/4 cup or 1 cup)
  • extra virgin oil as needed. I used 3 or 4 generous slugs
  • Juice of half lemon (in the absence of lemons I used juice of a whole lime)
  • 4 tbsp grated Gran Padano parmesan (the last of my stock)
  • Salt and pepper to tasteIMG_4965 (1)
  1. Place the rocket leaves and add a couple of generous slugs of olive oil in a blender’s jar. Blend.
  2. Separately, (or do this first) blend together the garlic cloves and walnuts.
  3. Combine the two blended mixtures.
  4. Add lime/lemon juice, grated parmesan, salt to taste and pepper, if using. I didn’t – the rocket was very peppery.
  5. Add a bit more olive oil if you like – I did.
  6. Mix well, enjoy.

I gave our gardener Govindappa a taste of the pesto.IMG_4968 (1) Normally he has very finicky tastes for anything but good South Indian food. He savoured this one, gave it the tick of approval.

He likened the slightly bitter taste of the rocket to bitter gourd and remarked it must be good for diabetics and for controlling blood pressure. Maybe it is!

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