Feta Pistachio Mint Pesto

Feta Pistachio Mint Pesto is beautifully bright, fresh and creamy. Ideal as a drizzle over grilled meat or roasted veggies.

overhead shot of a bowl of Feta Pistachio Mint Pesto

My season of revisiting classic recipes from the blog continues with this Feta Pistachio Mint Pesto. I have no doubt that this pesto completely passed you by even if you have been reading my witterings here from its early incarnations. Remember Stroud Green Larder? Yes, that was my original name for my business when I began it five years ago which fitted well with my market stall which was based in Stroud Green, North London but alienated all my blog followers, especially those to whom Stroud Green was a pretty random name. I’m not even sure the majority of Londoners necessarily know of Stroud Green, the little stretch between Finsbury Park and Crouch End.

overhead shot of ingredients of Feta Pistachio Mint Pesto in the mixer

Sometimes when I’m feeling especially reflective I wonder if From The Larder is even the best choice of name, a name which I really fought to get, especially since my market stall is focused more on the cake side of things. Although I can’t let myself go too far down that road since I’ve come this far with it and I’m not about to change everything again, it was challenging enough changing the name of my blog and business the first time.

overhead shot of ingredients of Feta Pistachio Mint Pesto in the mixer

So, this Feta Pistachio Mint Pesto, if you’re still with me, was originally developed as an accompaniment to a roasted butternut squash mash recipe where this pesto was drizzled liberally over the top. That dish was out of this world but I could never get the photographs right, it looked like some big old gory mess. Then this pesto soon broke out into a life of its own in my kitchen as I started to accompany it with everything. Drizzled over lamb chops, roasted potatoes or used as the base in this Simple Brown Rice Salad with Pesto Vinaigrette. It became one of my weeknight mainstays and yet was buried within my blog in unsightly photos and an early post which was largely ignored.

overhead shot of ingredients of Feta Pistachio Mint Pesto in the mixer

Therefore I am pretty sure I am introducing this Feta Pistachio Mint Pesto as if it were the first time. It is a bright and fresh pesto with so many layers of flavour. The feta and pistachio give a fresh creaminess and sweet savouriness to the proceedings whilst the mint provides lovely bite with a zing of lemon to bring everything into harmony. I make it with the best feta I can find, there is a great feta and olive guy at Ally Pally farmers’ market, and fresh garden mint.

side shot of a bowl of Feta Pistachio Mint Pesto

Print Recipe
Feta Pistachio Mint Pesto
Feta Pistachio Mint Pesto is beautifully bright, fresh and creamy. Ideal as a drizzle over grilled meat or roasted veggies.
overhead shot of a bowl of Feta Pistachio Mint Pesto
Course Main Dish
Cuisine British
Keyword pesto
Prep Time 10 minutes
Servings
6-8 people
Ingredients
  • 80 g shelled roasted salted pistachios
  • 30 g fresh mint* leaves removed from stalks
  • 15 g parsley including stalks
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 80 g feta
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • black pepper
  • 150 ml extra virgin olive oil
Course Main Dish
Cuisine British
Keyword pesto
Prep Time 10 minutes
Servings
6-8 people
Ingredients
  • 80 g shelled roasted salted pistachios
  • 30 g fresh mint* leaves removed from stalks
  • 15 g parsley including stalks
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 80 g feta
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • black pepper
  • 150 ml extra virgin olive oil
overhead shot of a bowl of Feta Pistachio Mint Pesto
Instructions
  1. Place the pistachios in a food processor and blitz until finely ground.
  2. Add the mint, parsley and garlic and blitz again until chopped very finely.
  3. Scoop the feta into the food processor, squeeze in the lemon, and grind in some black pepper then whizz up again so that all the ingredients come together to form a thick paste.
  4. Then with the food processor still on, stream in the olive oil slowly so that it incorporates into the paste and forms a smooth pesto.

SHOP THE RECIPE

I would be nowhere without my Magimix 4200XL Food Processor – Satin which I bought when I was so jealous of everyone making their own houmous and pestos. That was easily over ten years ago and I use it nearly every day for all manner of kitchen jobs like whipping up dips, nut butters and flours, making breadcrumbs and of course for houmous and pesto. The Magixmix is an impressive piece of kit which even survived being dropped when we moved into our house (although it did have to have the motor replaced but that wasn’t too expensive). I put all the attachments in the dishwasher and they come out brilliantly clean but it also gives just great results. I love my Magimix and along with my Kitchenaid is the piece of equipment I use most often in my kitchen.

The links above are affiliate links so if you decide to buy anything using the links given then I will get a small commission from Amazon at no cost to you. To learn more about how the data processing works when using these Amazon affiliate links then please visit my privacy policy page.

If you like this recipe then you may like…

Simple Brown Rice Salad with Pesto Vinaigrette

bowl of rice salad ingredients with lemon squeezer, vinaigrette and tomatoes in background

Tahini Turmeric Dressing

Tahini Turmeric Dressing

Homemade Smoky Fajita Seasoning Paste

Homemade Smoky Fajita Seasoning Paste

Watermelon Mint Granita

This easy no-sugar Watermelon and Mint Granita is the ultimate heat quencher. This icy summer treat is light and refreshing and completely sugar-free.

A glass of Watermelon Mint Granita on a table in front of plants

This is not so much a recipe but an idea on how to keep cool during these times when your house has turned into a hotbox and the outside air is muggy and unrelenting. I have never been one for the summer months, they stretch out endlessly with little respite between May and September. Days when you are free to enjoy the sun are interrupted by magnificent thunderstorms and although I am not commuting into central London at the moment I am only too familiar with the unpleasant experience of sweltering temperatures, no air conditioning and thousands of fellow passengers jammed up against you on the Piccadilly line.

Glasses of Watermelon Mint Granita on a table in front of plants

In our humid house the nights have been terribly uncomfortable lately and sleep has been infrequent with the electric fan constantly jarring any slumber. During the day I have become accustomed to lugging said fan with me from room to room and kitchen prep has been made challenging with its overbearing gustiness spraying caster sugar sandstorms across the floor.

Cubes of watermelon

So, suffice to say I never champion these heat waves as much as I’m supposed to. At the moment I am desperate to find ways to chill out, I am not so easily sated as the puppy is by dancing in the stream of the garden hose; but that is where this no-sugar Watermelon Mint Granita comes in. There is something so refreshing about sweet luscious watermelons anyway, then when it is jazzed up with a bit of garden mint the flavour sparkles. There is absolutely no need for sugar in this recipe as the watermelons are so rich and sweet this time of year that on these hot sticky days the simple fruit is all you need.

Watermelon Mint Granita in the blender

There is no more effort to this than simply blitzing the fruit and mint in the blender and popping the juice in the freezer. Although for such a casual recipe you do need to hang about the freezer for a couple of hours, giving it nudge every so often to break up the icy crystals during the freeze. It’s incredibly worthwhile though as the results instantly temper any inner heat and it’s sweetly moreish to boot. If you don’t want to eat it straightaway then once it has reached the right consistency you can just keep it in the freezer, but it will need to stand for about 10-15 minutes out of the freezer to become loose enough to portion out, unless you have an ice pick knocking around to help you out.

A tray of Watermelon Mint Granita

I have to say though, the one thing I do appreciate about the summertime is the amount of daylight we have. The ability to lounge in the garden all evening long seems so luxurious and when this time of day comes I add a slug of rum to transform my granita into a proper grown up slush puppy; a perfect way to usher in the hot and hazy nights.

A glass of Watermelon Mint Granita on a table in front of plants

Print Recipe
Watermelon Mint Granita
Easy no-sugar Watermelon and Mint Granita is the ultimate heat quencher. This icy summer treat is light and refreshing and completely sugar-free.
A glass of Watermelon Mint Granita on a table in front of plants
Course dessert
Cuisine British
Prep Time 15 minutes
Passive Time 2 hours
Servings
8-10 people
Ingredients
  • 1.5 kg watermelon
  • Small handful of fresh mint leaves
Course dessert
Cuisine British
Prep Time 15 minutes
Passive Time 2 hours
Servings
8-10 people
Ingredients
  • 1.5 kg watermelon
  • Small handful of fresh mint leaves
A glass of Watermelon Mint Granita on a table in front of plants
Instructions
  1. Remove the seeds from the watermelon and then blitz the flesh in a blender.
  2. Add the mint leaves and blend again.
  3. Pour the juice into a deep baking tray.
  4. Place into the freezer for 40 minutes, then remove it and with a fork break up all the ice crystals.
  5. Place back into the freezer for 30 minutes and once again, remove and break up the ice crystals with a fork.
  6. Repeat this a further 3-4 times until the watermelon has formed easy to move sweet icy snow.

SHOP THE RECIPE

To blend up the watermelon and mint in the recipe I used my trusty Vitamix® Pro750 Food Blender, Copper UK Model. It’s one of my most favourite kitchen appliances and I use it almost daily. This blender is amazing! I loved the Kitchenaid blender I had before but my Vitamix produces the smoothest smoothies, most cohesive sauces and fantastic soups. I have been using it most frequently at the moment for making my iced matcha lattes and I now could not be without it. Okay, it isn’t cheap but if you have the budget for it and you are looking to be really spoilt then I really recommend it. Plus I love the colour!!

Some of the links above are affiliate links so if you decide to buy anything using the links then I will get a small commission from Amazon at no cost to you. To learn more about how the data processing works when using these Amazon affiliate links then please visit my privacy policy page.

If you liked this recipe then you may like…

Vegan Mango Lime Fro-Yo

Vegan Mango Lime Fro-Yo

Butter Mint Ice Cream

Butter Mint Ice Cream is the summer incarnation of buttery Murray Mints. Sweet, creamy and caramelly and infused with fresh mint.

Butter Mint Ice Cream

My husband is obsessed with car sweets, the kind that come in a metal tin drowned in icing sugar which you can buy from petrol stations.  We always seem to have a smorgasbord of different flavours spilling out of the glove compartment every time you go to retrieve the sat nav.  They are not so bad when they have just been bought, the sweets bounce around happily in the icing sugar, cheerily rattling against the metal.  However, if the sweets have had the misfortune to have endured a sweltering summer stuck in their hot tin, which they inevitably always do, then the icing sugar melts into a glue, clamping the sweets into a concrete ball.  If you are brave enough to tackle them at this stage you will have to prise one from the sickly grasp of its brethren, resulting in sticky fingers and sticky car.

These sweets are not worth the effort in my opinion and if you even succeed in wrestling one from the tin then they are usually so sweet anyway they make your mouth burn.  But I am not one for sweets, it’s sugar for sugar’s sake and I can get much more enjoyment from a biscuit.

Or, mints and toffees, which can hardly be classed as sweets can they?  Mints are refreshing and toffees are too delicious to pigeon hole.  So for obvious reasons when my husband is thoughtfully choosing his travel sweets I help him out by bunging a packet of  Murray Mints down on the counter, the best of both worlds.  They are much more sensible, much more yummy and they are in a packet and not a tin so you don’t get the painful clanging of the sweets bashing around each other as you fly over pot holes.  The only issue is that they are individually wrapped, great for the melting issue but not so great in making the car not look like a dustbin, as wrappers are discarded willy nilly with empty promises that they will be gathered up and thrown away at a later date.

Butter Mint Ice Cream

Fresh mint ice cream is a biggie in our house and I always take pleasure once a year of making it with the apple mint which we grow in our garden.  For some reason I can usually only make the crop of mint grow once so as soon as I’ve picked it, the herb withers away, only to rally round the next summer in time for my ice cream again.  Apple mint has a slightly furry leaf so you can tell it apart from regular garden mint but you can use either, or a mixture as I sometimes do if I don’t have enough apple mint.  This year I thought I would spruce up my mint ice cream and having had such success with David Lebovitz’s Salted Butter Caramel Ice Cream in the past, I couldn’t resist adapting the recipe conjure up the perfect butteriness of a Murray Mint.

The mint nestled into this recipe perfectly, it’s at once refreshing but also comforting and incredibly moreish.  The butter caramel enriches the mint and smoothes out the zingy edges.  It’s also a very reliable recipe, I have made it a few times and it hasn’t once succumbed to icy crystals in the freezer.  It is a softer set ice cream so you don’t have to wait impatiently for the ice cream to come up to scooping temperature.  If you are suffering in this heatwave, you can dive into the freezer and in seconds be sticking a teaspoon straight into the tub with indulgence for the ideal cool down.  If only they could wrap this ice cream up for long summer journeys down the motorway and sell it at petrol stations, then I too would be obsessed with travel sweets.

Butter Mint Ice Cream

Print Recipe
Butter Mint Ice Cream
Butter Mint Ice Cream is the summer incarnation of buttery Murray Mints. Sweet, creamy and caramelly and infused with fresh mint.
A bowl of Butter Mint Ice Cream in front of some mint leaves
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings
2 pints
Ingredients
  • 75 g fresh mint leaves including stalks
  • 350 ml double cream
  • 600 ml whole milk
  • 300 g sugar
  • 60 g salted butter
  • 5 egg yolks
  • ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings
2 pints
Ingredients
  • 75 g fresh mint leaves including stalks
  • 350 ml double cream
  • 600 ml whole milk
  • 300 g sugar
  • 60 g salted butter
  • 5 egg yolks
  • ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
A bowl of Butter Mint Ice Cream in front of some mint leaves
Instructions
  1. Infuse the fresh mint by pouring the milk and cream into two separate saucepans. Split the mint between the two and heat both until just below boiling point. Leave to cool for a couple of hours, then strain and discard the mint leaves from both saucepans. Measure out 250ml of double cream and 500ml whole milk as those are the quantities you will be working with. If there is any leftover you can save for another use or discard.
  2. Fill your kitchen sink halfway up with water and pour in a lot of ice until freezing. Place a large mixing bowl into the water, so it comes halfway up the sides then pour half of the minted milk into the mixing bowl. Set a sieve over the top.
  3. Spread the sugar in a large saucepan in an even layer. Heat it up until the edges begin to melt, fold it into the centre of the sugar carefully, stirring until it’s all dissolved. Carry on cooking until the caramel begins to smoke then remove from the heat immediately.
  4. Add the butter and a pinch of salt until the butter has melted then stir in the cream. Don’t worry if the caramel seizes as it can melt again at the next stage.
  5. Place back on the heat and stir until all the caramel has melted. Then stir in the second half of the milk gradually.
  6. Whisk the yolks in a bowl, then whisk in some of the warm caramel so the eggs warm up, pour the eggs back into the caramel custard and heat. Stirring all the time until it begins to thicken.
  7. Pour into the sieve set above the rest of the minted milk in the ice bath, add the vanilla extract and then whisk constantly until the temperature has cooled.
  8. Pour the custard into a large jug, cover with cling film and place in the fridge overnight to chill.
  9. The next day churn in your ice cream machine until the consistency of a thick milkshake. Decant into tubs and place in the freezer overnight before serving.
Recipe Notes

Adapted from David Lebovitz’s Salted Butter Caramel Ice Cream

SHOP THE RECIPE

Many years ago Luke tried to persuade me than I didn’t need yet another space hogging kitchen gadget that I didn’t use so I bought my ice cream maker on the sly. I honestly haven’t looked back and I am always thrilled to reach down for it and put it to use. I chose the Magimix Le Glacier 1.1 Ltr Ice Cream Maker (White) on a whim but it’s been absolutely brilliant and was very reasonable so I heartily recommend it.

The links above are affiliate links which means if you decide you want to use either of these links to buy your ice cream maker then Amazon gives me a small commission at no cost to you whatsoever. I will only recommend products I use in my kitchen and love. It’s just a way for me to fund my shopping list for the blog so if you do click through then many thanks!! To learn more about how the data processing works when using these Amazon affiliate links then please visit my privacy policy page.

Roasted Aubergine and Courgette with Sumac and Herbs

Roasted Aubergine and Courgette with Sumac and Herbs

Today I was very excited to make a silky warming butternut squash soup.  It was exactly what I was hankering for.  I took the stock out of the freezer last night, leered over the butternut in eager anticipation and fished out the chipotle from the very back of the cupboard.  I used a ladder and everything.  It was all systems go.  And then I smashed my kitchenaid blender.  I still don’t understand how as the glass on those things is about an inch thick.  But it briefly kissed the surface of my ceramic sink and shattered like the fragile heart of a tween.

So, basically, you are not getting soup and I’m getting a new blender.

courgette and aubergine3So stepping up to the plate is one of my absolute faves.  It’s probably the one I make the most often of a weekday.  So easy to throw together in the roasting tray straight after work.  Whack it in the oven, have a sit down with a glass of sparkling water, as it’s January, then serve with anything you like.  I have it the most with grilled lamb chops.  It might also be even better the next day taken out of the fridge and brought up to room temperature to have at your desk for lunch, I would never bother re-heating this.  I have eaten it with leftovers, with roast chicken, with garlicky yoghurt drizzled generously over and taken it to picnics.
courgette and aubergineDue to the amount of oil that the aubergine soaks up it’s very rich and so you don’t need a great deal, not that I usually let that stop me.

Oh, and the best thing about this dish… it doesn’t require a blender.

Roasted aubergine and courgette2Roasted Aubergine and Courgette with Sumac and Herbs

2 aubergines
2 courgettes
60ml olive oil
¾ tsp sumac
10g mint leaves, roughly chopped
10g coriander leaves, roughly chopped
10g parsley leaves, roughly chopped
Wedge of lemon

  1. Top and tail the aubergine and courgette and then cut each one in half widthways. Halve each again lengthways and then cut into 16 wedges in total.
  2. Toss the wedges in the olive oil, sumac and plenty of seasoning and place in an oven pre-heated to 180°C. Roast for 30-40 mins, checking halfway through to give a good mix around.
  3. Once the aubergine and courgette are soft, lightly browned and slightly crispy at the corners then remove from the oven. Mix together with the herbs, squeeze the lemon wedge over and serve.

Minted Brownies

Minted Brownies
During my first year at University I developed an unhealthy obsession.  Well, I developed several but I’m not here to talk about cold spaghetti bolognaise on toast or 80s night at the student union.  I am here to admit unashamedly that I couldn’t read Proust or start writing about Proust or watch Fifteen to One without a Wispa Mint on the go.  This unfortunately meant I had several a day.  The dark years arrived soon after graduation however as the Overlords of Chocolate discontinued this perfection of a candy treat.  It seems that I was singlehandedly keeping this little number in production.
Minted Brownies

Yesterday though I was transported back in time to university like Felicity at the end of Season 4.  Suddenly I was watching Fifteen to One in our communal kitchen feeling inadequate for not knowing any of the answers and seeking consolation in my velveteen treasure.  My time machine arrived in the form of Mint Chips.  These are not a new ingredient to millions of Americans who have kept this wonder close to their chest over the years but they are new to me.  They are a delightful lurid green and perform the exact same minty miracle to chocolate as the top layer of a Wispa Mint.  As soon as I tried one of these chips I knew exactly what had to be done. Without further ado I had melted down some chocolate, threw it in the mixer with flour, sugar, eggs and the minty morsels and in less than 15 mins I had some Minted Brownies nestled in the oven.

Mint Chips
Mint Chips2

Since these little guys are an American import you won’t find these at the local supermarket but you can happily find them online as with most things.

The brownie recipe is adapted from one by Niamh Shields from Eatlikeagirl.com who wrote this for ivillage.  Her recipe suits me perfectly as they are dense and fudgey since they only using a scant amount of flour and lots of chocolate.

Minted Brownies

Minted Brownies

225g dark chocolate
100g unsalted butter, cubed
150g caster sugar
50g plain flour (you can use a gluten-free flour blend)
A pinch salt
2 eggs
3 handfuls of mint chips

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C and prepare a 20cm square brownie pan with greaseproof paper.
  2. Melt the chocolate with the butter in a bain marie or a bowl over simmering water.
  3. Mix the sugar, flour and salt together either in a stand mixer on medium speed or you can easily mix it by hand as well.
  4. Pour in the melted chocolate.
  5. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
  6. Stir in the mint chips then pour into the prepared brownie pan.
  7. Bake for 20 mins until the top has just set, the mixture should still be wobbly underneath.
  8. Leave to cool in the tin for at least 3 hours before removing and cutting into pieces.
Minted Brownies