I am home alone. And I am very bored. In my head, the time I spend by myself is serious, luxurious, unadulterated me-time. It involves lounging in the bath for hours, and not ever getting properly dressed and listening to Justin Timberlake’s greatest hits etc. However, in the last few days I have learnt that being in the bath for more than about twenty minutes is very dull, and since I’ve now learnt all the words to ‘Bringing Sexy Back’ there’s actually very little to do except knuckle down and write the 10,000 words of dissertation that are standing between me and freedom (a freedom which incidentally fills me with dread, as (since I have no job lined up) it consists of a lot more me-time. Shit.). Except, of course, I just cannot knuckle down. Nothing could excite me less than knuckling down. So, cursed with an affliction I’m sure all can appreciate, I have been doing everything I can not to. The fact that I’m actually looking forward to watching Boris Johnson on television later terrifies me (although I am interested in learning how someone quite so repellent and who looks quite so like Mr Blobby has sired quite so many children).
I digress – not unlike the numerous digressions I have embarked upon in the past few days so as to avoid working. On Saturday, I went on three walks. Yesterday morning I drank four diet cokes in the hope that maybe it might make me do something – I didn’t even care what. Anyway, it didn’t work and I obviously just ended up feeling a bit weird.
So weird in fact, that I went foraging. Bear in mind that outside it is about -20 and I also know very little about foraging. It was, unsurprisingly, a rather fruitless expedition UNTIL I came across a big, mossy green bank absolutely covered in fat, green, wild garlic leaves. And since I tried some amahazing wild garlic pesto last week I thought that being the adventurous gal I am I would invent some myself. So I stuffed my pockets and went home to make some pesto. In hindsight this was perhaps a slight error. My coat really really smells now, but since all this me-time means that I am becoming more and more hermit-like by the second, maybe this doesn’t matter.
The pesto was a roaring success (although admittedly the jury was somewhat one-sided, as I didn’t actually have anyone to share it with). I didn’t have any pine nuts as I ate them last night when I was watching a programme about monkeys (I don’t even like monkeys. Life is shit), and so I used walnuts instead. This decision was, if I do say so myself, absolutely inspired. The walnuts’ woody bitterness meant the very subtle sweetness of the garlic leaves with that of the parmesan was just noticeable, creating a much more interesting flavour than your usual jar o’ Sacla. It’s real spicy n’delicious – it definitely doesn’t fulfil the needs of a bit of comfort food that the usual Sunday night pesto-pasta does. I probably wouldn’t even put it on pasta – last night I had it smothered on a roasted aubergine, and today I tossed some new potatoes in it. It’s almost too grown up for a bowl of spaghetti. Way too impressive and sophisticated.
However, divine and impressive though it may be, I cannot urge you enough to never, ever, ever serve this to someone you might be hoping to, y’know… 😉 No but seriously. In a way, I’m sort of glad I’m home alone, so I don’t have to speak to an unsuspecting victim through pursed lips lest a green fog comes out and makes them pass out. And thank God I haven’t got anyone to snog this evening. Bluntly, it really bloody stinks. I’m pretty sure even Mr Lover-Lover (eeurgh) Boris would turn me down after I had this for supper.
I made this with a hand whizzer thingy (you definitely know what that is. That thing wot you make soups wiv), which meant the consistency was very smooth. It would, I believe, actually be even nicer if you used a Magimix so that it was a little chunkier, but nothing, not even a 10,000-word dissertation, could impel me to wash that little bastard up. The choice is yours.
Makes a nice little bowlful
- 60g wild garlic leaves
- 35g walnuts halves
- 20g grated parmesan
- Juice of half a lemon
- A lot of the most delicious extra virgin olive oil you can get your hands on, plus more. Rubbish quantities I know, but you add it as you whizz until you get the texture you want
- A big pinch of Maldon sea salt and a few grinds of black pepper
- Wash the garlic well under cold water and spin to dry. You don’t want no dog piss in your pesto.
- Chop it roughly and put into a big mixing bowl (or Magimix if you’re using that) Add the walnuts, parmesan, lemon juice and very generous slug of oil to loosen it up.
- Whizz away, adding more oil until you have the desired consistency and there are no noticeably big lumps of walnut.
- If, like me, you like yours quite dense and smooth, when it’s all whizzed put it in a bowl and cover with another generous slug of oil. It looks dead pretty and helps it keep, too. If you don’t devour it all, it should keep for about 3 weeks in a lidded jam jar.
- Hey pesto, Mario