I like wild food. Collecting nettles, kelp, and most recently, maple blossoms, is now a daily routine. Working with these foraged treasures to create “Wow, that’s good! Is there any more of that?” Food is a passion that has taken firm root.
It’s especially easy to get passionate about something you can reach from your front deck. If only I had known they were edible before now.
I served this pesto on some grilled beef, alongside a Thai Noodle Salad. It elicited “oohs” and “mmms” from both of us — all the way through to the last bite. If Howard hadn’t eaten the rest of it straight out of the bowl, I would have probably used the rest for one of these ideas:
- Serve a generous dollop on top of poached/steamed/grilled fish
- Spoon smaller dollops on top of fresh oysters
- Mix equal parts pesto and mayo and serve on top of cold lamb sandwiches
- Create a local and seasonal cold pasta salad
Maple Blossom-Mint Pesto
Yield: approx ½ Cup
|Blossoms from a Large Leaf Maple Tree||½ C||125 ml|
|Mint Leaves||½ C||125 ml|
|Mild/Sweet Nuts (almonds, pistachios, pine, etc), lightly roasted||¼ C||60 ml|
|Garlic, roughly chopped||2 cloves|
|Olive Oil||½ C||125 ml|
C=Cup ml=millilitres TT=to taste
Combine the maple blossoms, mint, garlic and nuts in a food processor. With the motor running, pour the oil through the feed tube, and puree until almost smooth, scraping down the side of the bowl as necessary. Season with s+p to taste (3 good pinches of salt, and 1 of pepper).
Serve immediately, or cover and store in the fridge for no more than 2 days.
- Olive oil can be very strong — a milder variety works better here. I also cut stronger tasting olive oils with safflower oil (about 2 parts olive to 1 part safflower) to tone things down a bit.
- Make this pesto your own, using different herbs such as cilantro, parsley, chives, etc.