Weâ€™ve had a couple of really, really wonderful sun-filled days; I think if I donâ€™t document them somehow, itâ€™ll feel like they never happened when Iâ€™m back to trudging through puddles in my rain boots a week from now.
Iâ€™m talking tank-tops and flip-flop weather; it is as if we skipped spring and headed straight for summer. I even stopped taking my Vitamin D pills for fear Iâ€™d overdose.
Unfortunately, my week was inundated with mostly â€˜stuffâ€™ that didnâ€™t include spending my free time outdoors â€“ from the mounting pile of laundry to filing tax adjustments with the CRA and a million other tedious little tasks in between.
Thankfully I had pesto so dinners werenâ€™t too much of a chore; I love pesto for this, I can quickly toss a spoonful with pasta, potatoes, couscous, quinoaâ€¦ whatever, and hey presto, dinner is ready!
Whenever Iâ€™m making pesto, I make sure to double the recipe and freeze some for later, and boy, does it ever come in handy.
It took me a while to come around to making this marcona almond and mint pesto; Iâ€™ve become quite enamoured with these almonds in recent years, I went from not knowing they existed to wanting to put them in everything.
I get like that with certain foods sometimes, I discovered green raisins at the nut store last week and Iâ€™m having a moment with it also, I want to make soda bread with them badly.
I already love almonds in pesto, they impart a nutty savoury taste and make the sauce really shine.
Marcona almonds are a special kind of almonds, delicate and sweeter, they have a more buttery flavour than regular almonds. Itâ€™s my favourite nut to snack on at the moment.
Mint and marcona almonds make a wonderful pairing in this pesto, the buttery sweet flavours of the almonds compliments the mintâ€™s refreshing and bright essences, and a nice fruity extra-virgin olive oil rounds out the pesto beautifully.
Marcona Almond and Mint Pesto
- 1 cup toasted marcona almonds
- 2 garlic gloves (for a milder taste, roast garlic)
- 3 cups fresh mint leaves, packed
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest or zest of a small half lemon
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 â€“ 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more to cover the pesto for storage
- Pulse marcona almonds in a food processor
- Add garlic, mint leaves, lemon zest, red pepper flakes, freshly ground pepper and salt
- Pulse a few times to chop the ingredients to make a coarse puree
- While the food processor is running, gradually add the olive oil through the feed tube, process until itâ€™s well combined with the ingredients â€“ You can make the pesto as coarse or as smooth as you want
- Check for salt and pepper and add more if desired
- Use immediately, or store in a jar or airtight container covered in a thin layer of olive oil