There are currently four things growing in my back garden: an abundance of nondescript weeds, a deranged passion-fruit vine, a pretty hardy rosemary bush and more oregano than a small Mediterranean nation could eat in a year.
I am an atrocious gardener, but this is not for lack of trying. I frequently plant all kinds of interesting and edible things, only to watch them wilt and die before my very eyes. I have absolutely no idea why these four plants manage to thrive where all else fails.
So what do you do when you’ve a garden full of oregano and you don’t fancy eating roast lamb non-stop for the next year? You make pesto, yummo!
I love love LOVE pesto, although this love is not shared my all members of my family. I think it can be used to dress up absolutely anything from pasta to sandwiches to veggies to dressings; it’s pretty much an all-round genius sauce, and oregano pesto is no exception.
Pesto purists beware; for this recipe I totally parted with tradition and just used what I had to hand: oregano from the garden (obviously), Pecorino I found on special in Harris Farm Markets and macadamia nuts (to make it a bit more ‘Stralian!). And I was more than happy with the delicious results.
Oregano, Pecorino and macadamia nut pesto
Makes one jar that will keep in the fridge for up to two weeks, but I guarantee you’ll have it all gobbled up before then.
2 cups fresh oregano leaves
½ cup freshly grated Pecorino cheese
2 cloves of garlic
1/3 cup macadamia nuts
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Another reason I love pestos is that they are soooo simple to make. Just pop the oregano, cheese, nuts and garlic into a food processor and turn onto a low speed setting. Add the oil slowly, until an emulsion is formed. Once all the oil is added, season to your taste with salt and black pepper. Store in a sterilised jar and cover the top of the pesto with a layer of olive oil.
Eat with whatever you desire from pasta to potatoes and everything else in between. I found this oregano version goes particularly well with veggies, especially mushrooms, tomatoes and courgettes.