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There’s a blog I visit regularly called 101 Cookbooks.  Named to reflect the extent of the author’s cookbook collection, it’s a good mix of stories, recipes and some really great photography.  Definitely worth a look… especially if you’re in need of some vegetarian recipe inspiration.  Along similar lines, I’m thinking of starting a new blog myself.  It will be called ‘1001 recipes on pages ripped from magazines, put on a shelf and then forgotten’… not quite such a catchy name, but it pretty much reflects a large part of my recipe collection.

Lime basil

Is it just me, or do those recipes in the weekend papers call out to you too? Do you have a file, book or box filled with cuttings?  And if you do, how many of them have you actually used in the kitchen? (Go on, be honest and make me feel just a little better about my recipe clipping addiction…)

In reality, the new blog will never happen – not unless I can come up with a much better name anyway.  But, as a show of willing, I did use a recipe from Rowley Leigh’s column in last Saturday’s paper to make tea on Sunday – homemade pasta and pesto.  At least, the pasta was from the paper, so that counts doesn’t it?  The pasta dough was really easy to make, needed only semolina flour and water, and the shaping became a family activity on a wet afternoon.

Pesto and recipe

The pesto was a variation on the theme, and used up some of a potful of lime basil from the greenhouse.  The basil is at the flowering stage, and really needs a purpose in life… apart from looking pretty.  I’d read some time ago about a farm making dinners for visitors from a nearby hotel based on what’s fresh at the time – lime basil pesto was on the list.  No recipe, but the idea was enough to inspire some experimentation.

Lime basil flowers

As basil is a very summery herb, I’m linking this to August’s Cooking with Herbs over at Lavender and Lovage.  It’s been a while since I joined in with this challenge, but I like to have a look at the herby recipes entered each month.

Cooking with Herbs

So that’s one recipe done… just another 1,000 to go.

Pasta and pesto

Lime basil pesto

2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

1 mild, red chilli, deseeded and roughly chopped,

50g unsalted cashew nuts

4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 tbsp lime juice

a good handful of fresh lime basil leaves

30g parmesan or vegetarian alternative, finely grated

fine sea salt to taste

Blend together the garlic, chill, cashew nuts, oil and lime juice until you get a fairly chunky and sloppy mixture.  I used a hand blender for the job, but a food processor or pestle and mortar should work too.

Add the basil leaves and whizz to get a pesto as smooth or as chunky as you like it.

Stir in the parmesan, taste and season with a little salt if needed.

Add the pesto to freshly cooked, warm pasta and potatoes, as suggested in the paper.  Or use some to top small slices of crusty toasted bread to make a tasty crostini.  Or you could spread it thinly on a cheese sandwich in place of chutney.  In fact, if you make enough pesto, you can do all three…

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