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Summer recipes.

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Something very Different – Carrot Top (the green bit) Pesto.

Carrot top pesto ingredients

This made about 750ml of pesto, feel free to scale the recipe to suit what you have available.

  • 5 litres (a carrier bag full) of carrot tops
  • 1 bulb of garlic, split into cloves, peeled and loosly chopped
  • 75g whole almonds (it doesn’t matter whether they are blanched or not) Hazelnuts would work well too.
  • 75g parmesan, finely grated
  • 300ml extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and Pepper
  1. Wash the leaves to get rid of any mud and grit. Pop them in a big saucepan and boil for 2-3 minutes until the leaves are just wilted. Strain in a colander and refresh with cold water to stop them cooking. Drain completely and squeeze out as much liquid as you can.
  2. Dry roast the whole almonds in a heavy based pan or in the microwave until they are nicely browned.
  3. Put the almonds, garlic and a small amount of the carrot leaves into a blender. The carrot leaves help the other ingredients process well. Blitz until the almonds and garlic are finely chopped.
  4. Add the rest of the carrot leaves and process until they are puréed. You’ll probably need to scrape down the sides of the blender a few times to ensure even processing. Add the parmesan cheese and process until well mixed, scraping down if needed.
  5. What you’re going to do next is to add the olive oil to make a fluid paste. Add it gradually, stopping to test consistency and scraping down the sides. You will get it to a point I call ‘falling over’, this is when the pesto gently falls into the blades of the processor as it turns.
  6. Season to taste and that’s it.

The pesto will keep for a few days in the fridge. I’ve frozen some in ice cube trays for a winter treat.

Easy Pezzy Recipe – Ratatouille

Ratatouille is a classic summer dish that makes great use of veggie patch “gluts”. It can fairly be described as “fiddly”, but I think it’s worth it. This serves four. I never like to freeze tomato-dishes for long – or for that matter potato dishes as they ‘break-down’ and get watery. (I call it the Deadly Nightshade Dribbles)   However this stays good for a few days in the coldest compartment of the refrigerator. Meat and/or croutons can be added later but remember the secret to goor ratatouille is to cook all ingredients separately.


• 5 super ripe tomatoes
• 3 courgettes – cut in to slices
• 2 aubergines – cut in to chunks
• 2 red or yellow peppers – sliced
• 1 onion, peeled and sliced
• 2 garlic cloves , peeled and crushed
• 5 tbsp olive oil
• bunch of basil
• 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
• 1 tsp sugar

Start by doing all your choppin’ and slicin’. Score a cross on the base of each tomato, then put them into a bowl. Pour boiling water over the tomatoes and leave for half a minute, then pour off the water. Cover them with cold water and leave to cool – the skin should come off easily now. Remove the seeds from the tomatoes and roughly chop.

Heat 2 tbsp of the oil in a sauté pan and brown the aubergines on each side, then set aside. Next up brown the courgettes in a little more oil and set aside. Then do the same with the peppers. Cook the onion for 5 minutes, add the garlic and fry for a further min. Stir in the red wine vinegar and sugar, then tip in the tomatoes and half the basil. Return the vegetables to the pan with some salt and pepper and cook for 5 mins. Garnish with the rest of the basil and serve with some crusty bread.

And to Follow;-

 Frozen Yogurt. So easy the kids can do it. I suppose any fruit can be used. I used to love frozen citroen yogurt.


Makes about 4 1/2 cups

This simple homemade cherry frozen yogurt is made with fresh cherries and rich (yet non-fat) Greek yogurt, and no ice-cream maker is required.


1 pound fresh cherries, pitted
2 cups plain non-fat Greek yogurt
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons vanilla extract


Place cherries, yogurt, sugar, lemon juice and vanilla in the bowl of a food processor and purée. Transfer to a freezer-safe bowl and cover. Whisk mixture vigorously every 30 minutes until just frozen throughout, about 2 to 3 hours. (Whisking helps to break up the ice that forms when freezing.) The frozen yogurt is ready when it’s too thick to whisk. Stir with a spatula and store in an airtight container. This homemade frozen yogurt is best enjoyed the same day you make it.


Per serving (based on 4 servings): 200 calories (0 from fat), 0g total fat, 0g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 45mg sodium, 42g total carbohydrate (2g dietary fiber, 37g sugar), 11g protein

Recipe of the Week  2nd Aug ’11 – Broad Bean Hummus

I’ve spoken to quite a few GIYers this year about broad beans and many of them don’t seem to like the taste very much – I have to admit that this year, I’ve wondered whether it’s a good idea to grow so many of them (they have a tendency to be bitter).  BUT, here’s a great recipe from the latest series of River Cottage Every Day for broad bean hummus – tastes amazing and can be frozen.  I plan to process all of my remaining crop of broad beans in to this wonderful dip.


  • 400g shelled broad beans
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed with a little salt
  • 3 tbsp rapeseed or extra virgin olive oil
  • lemon juice

Bring the broad beans to the boil in a large pan of water.  Simmer for 5-10 minutes until tender, then drain. Set aside to cool, then slip the beans out of their skins.  Whiz in a blender with the garlic, oil, a good squeeze of lemon juice and some salt and pepper. Process to a thick, slightly coarse purée, adding more oil if it seems too thick and dry. Taste and adjust the seasoning with more salt, pepper and lemon juice as needed.


About pfiddle

Fiddle teacher - mostly Irish trad. Fiddle, mandolin and concertina. Eco-warrior, won E.U. Green Flower Award for Eco Accommodation. Also Irish (Gold) GHA. Green Hospitality Award. Mad keen on self-build - especially straw-bale and cob. 55 with a full head of (slightly) graying hair. No tattoos or piercings. Fond of animals - but legally so. Fond of food - I eat nothing else. Vegetarian by choice, Irish by the grace of birth, Munster by force of (rugby) arms.

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