Good day everyone, I’m still in Lyon (figuratively speaking, of course) and cooking with Chef Villard and his lovely recipes. This is a condiment that he paired with lightly cooked snow peas and a little goats cheese and boy was it good. I particularly loved the colour, unfortunately when you add the goats cheese it lightens up quite a bit, but by then you’re starving for having enjoyed the aromas of the meal all afternoon long!
To be honest, JT wasn’t in love with the pesto which was originally Rocket (arugula), pine nuts and Parmesan cheese so I decided to be inspired by Chef Villard and not follow the recipe 100% (of course you did, says JT). The rocket tends to get a touch bitter when processed, although I do enjoy the peppery taste I wanted to temper the bitterness so I used the same amount of spinach as the rocket. Then I was thinking of the entire meal and wanted to repeat some flavours for consistency, so instead of pine nuts, I used roasted hazelnuts (the pumpkin soup has a drizzle of hazelnut oil to finish it). So in the essence of our meal in Lyon, here is the pesto recipe.
Rocket and Spinach Pesto with Hazelnuts (on Snow Peas with Goats Cheese — not shown)
Serves 6 (I had enough pesto left over for some hors d’œuvres the next day),
- 35 g roasted hazelnuts
- 35 g combined baby rocket (arugula) and baby spinach
- 1 clove garlic, finely minced
- 1 tbsp parmesan cheese
- 2-4 tbsp EVOO
- Salt to taste
- 60 g snow peas
- 20 g goats cheese
- In a small food processor add the hazelnuts, rocket, spinach, finely minced garlic and Parmesan cheese and drizzle a small amount of EVOO to get the chopping going adding a little bit to allow the purée to happen with ease (you don’t want this too runny). Taste and salt as desired.
- When you have achieved the consistency desired set aside (this is actually quite good if you make it in advance and the flavours have time to really develop).
- Cook the snap peas and as soon as they are done, immerse them into ice cold water to stop the cooking quickly. Simmer water on the stove to reheat just prior to serving.
- To serve, add a few tablespoons of the pesto to the hot, drained snow peas and crumble the goats cheese into it, stir lightly to distribute evenly.
- Enjoy warm.