Feta, Mint and Almond Pesto


I don’t know what’s going on with the weather – it’s like a million degrees outside – the air is like soup – even the plants are sweating. There’s a guy across the street trying to mow the lawn – is he on crack? I debated pelting him with ice cubes – but I need them. I’m considering making a jumpsuit out of packets stuffed with ice – yes, it is that bad.  The aircon is not cool enough, the fans are blowing hot hair, I think I’m melting.

My cat is sitting in the sun. I’ve been calling him from the door and rustling the catnip bag – he’s looking at me like I’m deranged. Yes, cat.  It’s as hot as Ryan Gosling without a shirt on out there and your body is covered in fur and you’re lying on hot concrete – and I’m the one with the problem?

So last night I made this pesto for supper – because I needed something simple, quick and delicious to throw over pasta – something cooling and fragrant and light, something that tastes of summer and cool, bronzed people in magazine adverts wearing bikinis and sunbathing on yachts whilst drinking cocktails from tall glasses adorned with teeny tiny umbrellas.  I doubt any of them would eat this pesto because it contains a rather generous amount of olive oil – however I’m sure it would make a good face pack if you’re one of those people. Just saying.

This pesto has a lovely zing and I think would be delicious smeared over  flat bread or Javier Bardem ( forgive me, men are NOT objects, people!) I served this stirred through penne pasta with about half a cup of the pasta water to loosen it up and create a sauce like consistency. I think it would be good on pizza too.

Feta, Mint and Almond Pesto

adapted from coffeefoodwritergirl

Makes a generous cup (enough for 500g pasta or a couple of face masks)

1 handful of fresh mint, picked off the woody stems (about 20g)

1 generous handful of fresh basil, about 30g

A scant 1/2 cup of blanched almonds (the original recipe called for pine nuts – which I think would have rendered a smoother texture – but they are so hideously expensive)

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (juice from about one medium lemon) NOTE: this pesto was quite lemony – so next time I make it I will add the juice in little batches til it suits my taste. I suggest you do the same.

50g Feta cheese ( I threw in 100g because I love cheese and 50g looked so pitiful – however next time I will stick to 50g so that the mint has more of a chance to shine)

Good quality extra virgin olive oil ( approximately a cup’s worth)

Maldon salt and pepper to taste

Throw the fresh herbs, almonds, feta, salt and pepper to taste, a dash of the lemon juice, and a drizzle of olive oil to moisten into the bowl of a food processor or blender. Whiz til combined, slowly pouring in the olive oil til the mixture is the consistency of a smooth, thick pesto. Taste. Add more seasoning and lemon juice if necessary, and whiz again til smooth and a lovely pale green.

Serve stirred through pasta along with some of the pasta water to loosen and make a sauce – or smeared over your body – hey, whatever floats your boat! I’m not gonna judge you.  A salad would be a good accompaniment – as would a large glass of wine.




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