Mint pesto

A blob of this will turn your just-grilled or baked fish or chicken and some steamed vegetables into a feast.  It’s also lovely on a plain oatcake with (if you eat dairy) a few crumbled pieces of goat/sheep feta cheese on top.   You could also stir it into humous, to make it extra fancy.  Once of the things I love about these home-made pestos is they last a LOT longer than if you just leave the fresh herbs in the fridge.  The garlic and virgin olive oil in this one help preserve the mint.  My batch lasted 10 days in the fridge.  Don’t forget to cover the pesto in a layer of olive oil in the jar – this stops the air from making it go brown.   If you prefer, use all walnuts, or a mixture of seeds such as pumpkin and sunflower, to make the pesto.

30g almonds
15g walnuts
1 clove garlic, crushed
40g mint leaves (about 1 big bag)
20g parsley, stalks removed
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
2 tbs extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for covering

1. Blitz everything together in a mini food processor until it’s as smooth as you like it. Personally I prefer it a bit “rustic” so I often blitz everything except the nuts, until smooth, and only add the nuts at the end, to retain a rough texture.  If it’s too thick for your liking, add a bit more olive oil.
2. Decant into a clean screw top glass jar.  If you are not going to use this straight away, add a layer of olive oil on top to stop everything going brown.  Store in the fridge for up to 10 days.

Why this is good for you:
Mint helps soothe your digestive system and reduce gas (flatulence!).  It  suppresses pathogenic (disease-causing bacteria) in your gut and also in your mouth (for fresher breath).  Garlic has similar anti-bacterial properties and preferentially encourages good bacteria to multiply.  This is all good news for anybody who wants to get their digestive system into tiptop shape, who has skin problems, or who has any inflammatory conditions.  Garlic also helps support good liver function which is a cornerstone of having good skin.   Raw extra virgin olive oil is a rich source of vitamin E.  Vitamin E “recycles” vitamin C as an antioxidant in your body, making it more effective.  Vitamin E is natures moisturiser and skin smoother.  It also helps reduce your tendency to allergies such as allergic dermatitis, hives, hay fever or food sensitivities.  Vitamin E helps keep your skin younger longer too.