Tag Archives: The Inadvertent Gardener

Plenty of lemons were harmed in the making of this pesto

18 Mar

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There are some foods that improve pretty much everything they’re added to. Cheese, for instance, and green pesto. So I thought I was being very clever indeed when I seized upon the idea of feta pesto. After a quick Google search, I based my attempt on this one from The Inadvertent Gardener, but substituted the pine nuts for walnuts.

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American measurements proved, as ever, my nemesis. I’ve said it many times and I’ll repeat it once more for emphasis: since when is a ‘cup’ a reasonable means of measuring things? If nothing else, nuts are not a valid shape to be measured in such terms. (You can stop sniggering at the back now.)

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Also, three cups of basil is a lot more basil than you’d think. In fact, it’s enough basil to necessitate a run out to the supermarket for more basil. This may be testament to my own idiocy, however; I’m willing to let that stand.

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My biggest problem, though, was the salt. I may have been using a different type of tablespoon to the one in the recipe (I tend to use a proper measuring one, which probably errs toward the generous side in comparison to a normal spoon) and I used sea salt rather than kosher salt (I didn’t even know salt could be kosher) but my first iteration was almost inedibly salty. You can definitely have iterations of food, right?

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Unwilling – and too time-pressed – to start again from scratch, I did the one thing that sprang to mind as a means of salvage: I started adding lemon juice. It seemed to be improving things, so I added some more. And then some more. Hell, and then some more after that. In short: quite a lot of lemon juice. Turns out, lemon does help to counteract salt. I must have read this at some point previously and stashed it away a the back of my brain where the cobwebs live.

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A bit more olive oil to balance things out, plus a few more walnuts blitzed in to re-thicken, and things were actually almost saved. A near-disaster, then, but one that just about got clawed back – and that could easily be avoided in future. And let’s face it, there will be a future iteration, because this was quite tasty with lamb steaks.