Agnes Rose is an award winning British company that markets delicious fruit and herb infused oils and vinegars. Made in Cumbria to old family recipes by a lovely lady named Naomi Darbishire, Agnes Rose products add a fresh and delicious twist to just about any recipe. I’ve been working with Naomi’s wonderful products recently and developed this fresh and delicious pesto using her lemon infused oil. It’s a great way to dress your favourite pasta and makes a quick and easy meatless meal.
2 generous handfuls of fresh basil
2 generous tablespoons of grated vegetarian Parmesan-style cheese
50 grams (about 2 ounces) almonds
6 to 8 tablespoons Agnes Rose lemon infused oil (see note below)
Place the almonds in a food processor and process until they are fairly fine. Add the basil and Parmesan cheese and process again. Using the tube in the lid of the food processor, slowly drizzle the oil into the mixture. You will need at least 6 tablespoons and up to 8 to get a nice texture and flavour.
You can now use the pesto however you like. A few tablespoons stirred through pasta are absolutely delicious. Try stirring through a dollop of crème fraîche just before serving just to make it extra special. Any remaining pesto can be stored in a sealed jar in the fridge for a couple of days. Drizzle a bit of oil over the pesto before sealing the jar just to keep it fresh and moist.
Try substituting other herbs for basil (like tarragon or even mint) and vary the nuts too if you like. Pine nuts are the classic pesto nut, but walnuts and pecans work really well too. And non-vegetarians can use classic Parmesan cheese or any other hard Italian cheese.
Agnes Rose products are available by mail order, but if you want to try this recipe before you can get hold of their wonderful lemon oil, you can substitute extra virgin olive oil and a teaspoon of lemon juice. It doesn’t taste quite the same, as the Agnes Rose oil has an amazing depth of flavour, but it does work.
I’ll be featuring more recipes using Naomi’s lovely creations soon, but in the meantime, do visit the Agnes Rose recipes page for more inspiration. There is another recipe there that I developed as well.