Friday, 26 June 2015

Wild watercress pesto
On the steep path leading down from the Ski resort of Les Deux Alpes to the ancient slate mining village of Venosc there is a sharp turn off that leads to the remains of the mines. I don't go that way often, but as we were with a friend new to the area, we took the path and there tucked behind some of the leftover mine workings, was a mini lake that had been created by the fast running waters that had found a slightly different route down the mountain. Two huge patches of water cress were growing vibrantly green. We stuffed our ruck sacks full, carried on the path and an hour or so later we were home and washing our very fresh and huge leaved watercress. 
It had a very peppery flavour so I mixed equal quantities of watercress and spinach together to make my pesto


1 big double handful of watercress
10 bricks of frozen spinach leaves, defrosted, cooked in the microwave for 5 minutes then drained really really well
100g finely grated fresh parmesan
1 large clove garlic finely grated
150ml olive oil
juice of 1-2 lemons 
150g pine nuts

Simply throw all the ingredients into a food processor and blend till you have a fabulously rough pesto paste. Season to taste.
store in a jar in the fridge for up to 1 week or freeze this for up to 6 months.

I, of course ate this that evening with fresh pasta and a bottle of local white wine (Apremont) but I returned to the watercress site, picked alot more and froze lots of pesto in batches. I am looking forward to enjoying it on a cold autumnal evening and letting the flavours remind me of the summer heat walking up the steep path back to Les Deux Alpes with the beautiful mountain back drop.

Monday, 8 June 2015

really wild garlic, a foragers friend .....

Eating supper with friends in the French Alps I shared my knowledge of where a new patch of fabulous watercress was to be found by a stream. In the traditional way my friends shared a bag of freshly picked wild garlic they had gathered that afternoon - such is foraging etiquette it seems - one piece of knowledge for another or share of the days pickings.
Anyway this is actually a bin liner FULL  of wild garlic
more recipes to follow but here I am  sharing how we enjoyed it that evening. My friend picked off the buds, tossed them in olive oil, put them into a bowl and we snacked on them with a glass of chilled Apremont (our local white wine). 
And WOW! mind blowing actually.