Nasturtium Leaf Pesto

While most gardeners are familiar with a classic basil pesto, few appreciate that the humble nasturtium that grows so freely in gardens can be harvested to make a delicious version of this dish. You can use whatever standard pesto recipe you prefer and substitute freshly picked, nasturtium leaves in place of basil or follow the recipe below:

●  2 cups nasturtium leaves washed and dried (use a salad spinner)
●  cup chopped, dry roasted nuts (I use home grown macadamias)
●  2/3 cup Australian olive oil
●  2+ cloves Australian garlic (finely chopped and preferably home grown)
●  cup Romano or Parmesan cheese (finely grated),
●  Freshly cracked pepper

Pound or blend the nasturtium leaves and garlic and gradually add the nuts, cheese, oil and pepper. Taste and alter the ratio of ingredients as preferred.

Serve with vegetable sticks or crackers, use with pasta or serve with steamed vegetables. Decorate with a few nasturtium flowers when serving.

If intending to store for more than a few days, prepare the ingredients minus the cheese and store in sealed jars in the refrigerator. Add the cheese just prior to serving. Blanching any leaves used to make pesto prior to use helps stored pesto to retain its green colour.

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