Last Sunday I was having one of those days when leaving the house simply wasn’t an option. All I wanted was a long soak in the bath, a quiet read snuggled up on the sofa with endless cups of tea and some Netflix one-on-one quality time. My boyfriend didn’t want to go out either so we were forced to play the classic but oft-underrated Fridge Roulette:
Step 1: Assess the contents of your fridge and (for the advanced player) what has reached the ‘bin it or eat it’ stage of life.
Step 2: Work out what you can make from the unlikely combination of ingredients that will make you shine in manner of Masterchef invention test winner.
We found: a large bunch of coriander and a small bunch of mint, both cowering at the back of the vegetable drawer; a lime; and some sweaty parmesan. Things were not looking promising.
However, we refused to admit defeat and boy, did we win big on Fridge Roulette this week! This pesto is fresh, bursting with flavour and has a pleasing zing to it. Perfect stirred into pasta for a bright summery dish that can be prepared in minutes, or used as a punchy dip (why not add some creme fraiche to transform it into something dreamy and creamy?), meat rub or marinade.
Think of it as an Italian dish holidaying in India.
Coriander & mint Bombay pesto
Serves 4 as a pasta sauce
– 100g fresh coriander, including the stalks
– 4 large sprigs of mint (about 16 big leaves), stalks discarded
– 1-2 red chillis (depending on heat desired), deseeded
– 2 cloves garlic (one if very large)
– 3cm thumb fresh ginger
– juice 1 lime
– 5 tablespoons olive oil
– 3 tablespoons parmesan*, grated
– few grinds black pepper
*Substitute with a vegetarian parmesan-style cheese for a vegetarian version.
I do not add salt as I think the parmesan lends enough saltiness to the dish, particularly if used as a pasta sauce and you add salt to your cooking water.
Place all the ingredients into a blender and pulse to coarsely chop the ingredients (scrape down the sides of the blender to make sure all the ingredients are combined). Tip: The consistency of your pesto is totally up to you but I like a textured sauce where I can still distinguish the separate ingredients and that has a nice bite to it. If in doubt, have a taste and then pulse some more if you need to.
If the pesto is dry, add a little more oil.
If you are using the pesto as a pasta sauce, add a couple of tablespoons of cooking water from your pasta and pulse a final time to give a lovely silkiness. Stir into your pasta and serve immediately.
Cover any leftovers with a thin layer of olive oil to seal and keep in a container in the fridge. I am sure it could be kept for a couple of weeks although how long until it disappears is another matter!
Source: Recipe and photos by pip & little blue.