Lemon balm pesto

lemon balm pestoWell I don’t know how lockdown is going for you but times are pretty tough financially speaking here at Wyldelight Cottage, with just half a wage coming in to support two people. It means I’m having to be pretty creative in the kitchen and so more and more I find myself using whatever is growing in the garden to add extra flavour to the pulses and grains that we have come to rely upon. I have plenty of nettles, cleavers, dandelions and wild garlic growing alongside a huge amount of lemon balm. These greens have been an absolute saviour for adding in extra vitamins and minerals and also colour to what I’m cooking.

Lemon balm is really invasive and will take over your garden if you let it (as I have done, more through laziness than desire!), but it’s such a gorgeous plant. Great for making a tea or infusing in a jug of water on the table in the garden for a refreshing drink, popping in your G&T and oh my days THIS PESTO!

I’ve been dunking homemade focaccia in it, I topped a smoky chorizo and chickpea stew with it last night and it would be brilliant with grilled fish or chicken or just smothering new potatoes.

I have no oil but I save the oil from jars of sun-dried tomatoes/roasted red peppers etc and use that, it’s brilliant for making dressings and works incredibly well in this but use whatever you have.

Ingredients:

  • Large handful of lemon balm, mine is quite young so was I able to use leaves from all over the plant.
  • handful of whole mixed nut (brazils, hazelnuts, cashew, almond, walnut etc)
  • 3 large gloves of garlic
  • 1 heaped teaspoon dried chilli flakes
  • squeeze of orange
  • about 100ml sun-dried tomato oil left from a jar of sun-dried tomatoes (or any oil)
  • pinch of salt

Put everything in a Nutribullet or processor and blitz. It’s that easy. If you don’t have a processor or blender then you can do it in a mortar and pestle, it will just take a little longer. You could add parmesan if you have it, that would be lovely too 🙂