Seasonal Recipes

Rustic Pesto with Beans & Zucchini


2 small to medium sized Lebanese or Italian zucchini (or other pale skinned variety)

A generous handful of young and tender green beans (I use the heirloom variety 'Dragon's Tongue Climbing' – actually this is the only bean I grow these days; none of the other varieties come close to matching it in flavour, tenderness and productivity on our heavy soil. Plant some!)
2 very generous handfuls of basil (Genovese if you have it growing in the garden; this variety makes the best pesto)
A large handful of raw almonds, the freshest you can find (they need to still be crunchy)
4 or 5 large peeled cloves of new season garlic (our fave variety for this dish is 'Glamour')
Extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt
A lemon
Marinated goats cheese fetta or fresh goat’s milk curd

A handful of good quality lavosh crackers
150g pack of Meredith Dairy Chevre or similar
A few springs of fresh dill
Sea salt
Extra virgin olive oil
One fresh lime
Edible flowers such as naturtium, borage or radish flowers

Cut the zucchini into thin matchsticks. Combine with the uncooked beans (no need to cook, or top and tail, if they are super fresh and tender), toss with a little lemon juice and set aside.

Place the basil in a large mortar and pestle along with the almonds, the garlic, sea salt and about half a cup of the olive oil and pound until the almonds are broken up but still in pieces and the basil is crushed rather than pulped. It is important not to reduce the pesto to a traditional paste otherwise you will lose the sweetness that sits at the forefront of this dish. Check for seasoning and set aside.

Mix half the pesto through the zucchini/bean mix and toss. Then add remainder of pest. You may need to add a little more olive oil. Squeeze the juice of half a lemon over the top, scatter small chunks of marinated goat’s milk fetta and a pinch of sea salt and gently toss through.

I like pair this super green salad with a bit of crunch, mainly with some lavosh and a little chevre cheese spread I whip up.

This is less a recipe than it is a flourish and the kind of thing you can easily adapt to suit your own tastes and garden ingredients. Place the chevre into a medium bowl and add a generous squeeze of the lime juice, a pinch of sea salt, the chopped dill, and a drizzle of olive oil. Combine well with a fork and taste to check the the flavours are in balance – the trick is not to go too heavy on the lime (this spread is best made a few hours before you want to use it so that all the delicious flavours have time to mingle – taste again just before you intend to serve). When ready to use, spread a little on a lavosh biscuit and top with an edible flower.

Source : The Design Files