Gavin Hughes, Executive Chef, Byron at Byron Resort & Spa, has provided this recipe for Organic Gardener. See the article on edible flowers in our September-October issue, page 28.
Nasturtium and macadamia pesto serves many!
These peppery leaves make a welcome change to the traditional basil pesto. We do use a small amount of basil in this recipe for its sweetness, and use raw macadamia nuts to replace the traditional pine nuts. This is great with slow-braised rabbit dishes or placed on top of risottos.
- 3 cups nasturtium leaves
- 1 cup of flat leaf parsley leaves
- 1 cup basil leaves
- ½ cup of raw macadamias (more if you like pesto nutty)
- 1 small clove raw garlic
- macadamia oil to required consistency
- generous handful of good-quality parmesan cheese, grated
- salt to taste
- I like to blanch the nasturtium leaves in boiling water for roughly 8 seconds.
- Drain or refresh in iced water, and make sure you squeeze dry the leaves to get rid of excess water. This makes the pesto less pungent and gives you a nicer vibrant green colour.
- Place the macadamias, garlic and parmesan in a food processor bowl, blend till smooth-ish. I like my pesto a wee bit bitty!
- Add your blanched nasturtiums and remaining herbs. Use the pulse button and add macadamia oil gradually.
- Place in a bowl and add by hand the remaining required amount of oil. Season if necessary.
Note: Food processors generate friction heat, which will essentially cook the pesto if over-blended, producing an unpleasant colour and finish. So don’t leave the processor on for too long.
First published: July 2013