Friday, 6 July 2012

Food Waste Friday – How not to make rocket pesto!

If our food waste was going to get a school report for this week, it would probably read: “Could do better!”

Maybe my mind was taken off the half pot of mouldy yogurt I found at the back of the fridge by the enormous bag of rocket (arugula) that came with our fortnightly veg box last week.  I received some helpful readers' comments on using up yogurt a couple of weeks ago so there was really no excuse for mouldy yogurt!  

Nobody in the family likes rocket much apart from me, and I was going to be eating salad with rocket for breakfast, lunch and tea, if I didn’t do something with it quickly.

Enter rocket pesto!

I made my own without resorting to a recipe

I used most of the bag of rocket, some marked down parsley, cheaper than parmesan substitute – grana padano, blanched almonds instead of pine nuts (£3.49 for a teeny tiny bag – you must be kidding!), olive oil, salt and pepper.  I shoved it all in the food processor and whizzed it until it looked like pesto!

The verdict is that sometimes it’s best to use a recipe!  Somehow my quantities can’t be quite right, or I should not have been seduced by the marked down parsley. Although my pesto looks fantastic and has a wonderful consistency, it’s even more bitter and medicinal tasting than you’d expect for a pesto made with rocket.

Next time I will use a recipe like this one, (and I might be tempted to use half rocket/half basil):

  • 100 g rocket, washed
  • 25g Italian hard cheese, grated
  • 25g pine nuts
  • 4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove of garlic

My pesto won’t go to waste though.  Like medicine, I will use it in small doses in dressings and sauces.

And next week I really am aiming for NO WASTE!

Food Waste Friday was dreamt up by, to encourage people to use up food instead of waste it.


  1. Help me here across the pond with the lingo. What's rocket?

  2. It's a green peppery salad leaf! According to Wikipedia you might know it as Arugula? If that's the case I'll amend my blog post to make sense to US readers!

    1. And it looks as if it might also be called Rucola?

    2. Arugula. That I know. It's flavor is a bit strong for me. I only like it if it is blended with other milder lettuce.

    3. Yes, I think it was just a bit TOO powerful for a pesto sauce!

  3. How would your pesto be as a spread on a sandwich with meat? I do like arugula on sandwiches, that's why I ask. The trend in the pacific northwest of the US is kale pesto. I haven't tried it, but have heard it can be quite good.

    1. I've just had it in a roll with cream cheese for my lunch and that was OK. But then again I have got a cold, so I can't smell or taste a thing!

  4. How dumb am I? I thought Argula was an expletive :-)! Not a Rocket fan either - I struggle with broccoli due to the bitterness, and rocket takes it to the next level. Loving the imaginative 'save' though!

  5. I quite like arugula as an alternative expletive! I think it's all credit to Food Waste Friday (which I discovered through your blog so it's all credit you, really!) that I've become more creative in the lengths I'll go to make sure food doesn't go wasted! And like you always say, blogging makes you more accountable!

  6. Arugula with small chunks of mozzarella, chopped fresh basil, sliced cherry peppers and a little red wine dressing. Such a delicious salad. Make that with your next bunch of rocket! You can also add some canned tuna to make a more substantial meal.