Saturday, January 23, 2010

Organic + Love = Sublime

Today was 43 degrees and felt just like standing on a street in Dubai – or sucking in the exhaust of a jet plane! Either way, the result was floppy hair, a red face and a painfully slow pace. I headed out on my usual Saturday - the Orange Grove Organic Markets. By 9am, I was perusing the produce at Johnny Bucknall’s stand. He is the only person I buy from as he brings produce down from Mangrove Mountain, which is an area that has a lot of organic farms. The water I drink also comes from an organic farm at Mangrove Mountain, Alpha Water. That’s another blog altogether!

So, Johnny is watching all of his produce rapidly wilt in the blistering heat and begins to inform us the greens are now two for one. Well, even though I get carried away without any persuasion, this had me spinning in circles! Instantly my eyes did a “Matrix” like configuration, my brain almost imploded with recipes and I began dashing all over the place with my large basket.

As I was racing to clinic I threw all my purchases in the fridge and got to work. 7 hours later as I picked up my numerous bags, I began to think of the best strategy for all of my spontaneous greens. Kale, which is my all time fav vegetable, could be used in my smoothies. The rocket would be perfect for lunch tomorrow with some shaved fennel, parsley and grilled tuna. But, what I didn’t realise was that I purchased a heap of stunning basil.

Of course, I had to make pesto and it needed to be done ASAP. So, I arrived home, poured a lovely glass of wine, put my feel good music on and got to work! First, can I say that one of my all time loves is to find amazing produce and then cook it. I prefer to keep it simple, let the ingredient shine, and always add a lot of love. I can’t cook when I am grumpy or angry – it just ends up tasting bitter and horrible. So, when I am feeling so happy and positive like today, my food always tastes amazing.

So, here is my recipe but promise me that you will only make this when you have plenty of free time, some gorgeous organic ingredients and a smile in your heart.

Emma’s Pesto
Ingredients – they are all organic of course, that’s another reason this taste incredible

3 cloves of garlic

100gr parmesan – luckily I live in Haberfield and am spoilt with choice but I love one from Reggio Emilia in Northern Italy, ask the deli to grate it for you

50gr pistachios – lightly toasted

2 large bunches basil

1 cup extra virgin olive oil (I use my mum’s cold pressed organic extra virgin)

Rind of 1 lemon

Pepper to taste


Blend the parmesan, garlic and pistachio nuts. Take a minute to smell this – so gorgeously aromatic, nutty, sharp and tangy all at once! Slowly add the basil and ½ cup EVOO. Then pop in the lemon rind, pepper and ¼ cup EVOO. Blend until you are happy with the consistency. Store in a glass jar, use the remaining EVOO to pour over the top of the pesto and create a seal to prevent oxidation of your masterpiece.

Text, recipe and photo © Health Equals Vitality 2010

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