This week’s Back of Fridge meal was born out of a serious surplus of kale and chard. Whatever greens you have leftover, they’re delicious blitzed up into pesto, so tweak this recipe depending on whatever you have in over-supply. Try kale, chard, spinach, sprouting broccoli and even Brussels sprouts in winter and move onto peas, broad beans and mint in summer. I served mine with rude potato gnocchi. Store any leftovers in a jar and it’ll keep for one to two weeks.
200-250g leafy greens, such as kale, chard or spinach (or a mixture)
a good handful of walnuts (or other nuts you might have)
3 cloves of garlic, peeled
60g Parmesan (or other hard cheese)
juice of ½ lemon (or lime if that’s all you have)
sea salt and black pepper
8 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF. Place the walnuts on a baking tray, then roast in the hot oven for around 10 minutes, or until golden. Meanwhile, remove any tough stalks from your greens, then blanch in boiling water for 2 to 3 minutes. Drain, run under cold water, then squeeze out any excess moisture.
Place the greens into a liquidiser along with the toasted walnuts and garlic. Finely grate and add the cheese (I sometimes use a mixture of hard cheeses leftover in the fridge), then squeeze in the lemon juice. Season with a good pinch of salt and pepper, then blitz well. Gradually pour in the oil, blitzing to a smooth-ish paste. Have a taste and season with salt, pepper and lemon juice if you think it’s needed. Serve with pasta, gnocchi, grilled fish or meat or on bruschetta.