This recipe serves two people as a delicious yet modest supper. The recipe for the pesto is very approximate and will yield more than you need. It will keep in the fridge for ten days or so in a sealed jar or tupperware.
I love that this recipe is vegan, and roll out a variation of it almost every ‘meat-free-Monday’. If however, you fancy something meatier, ‘pulled sausage’ is a great addition. Buy top quality pork sausages, ideally rather plain ones, and pull the sausage meat out of its casing in rough little nuggets. Fry these in the saucepan first with a drop of oil, till golden and slightly crispy, before adding the onions to sauté, and continuing the recipe below.
1 small brown onion or banana shallot
2 stalks of celery
½ clove of garlic
a few sprigs of fresh rosemary
1 tin of organic butter beans
knob of butter, or cooking oil of your choice
salt & pepper
1 teaspoon of vegetable bouillon powder (or some flavoursome homemade veg stock)
3 generous handfuls of greens (spinach, kale, cavolo nero, or spring greens all work wonderfully)
a tiny splash of white wine (optional)
For the pesto:
2 handfuls of raw baby spinach
1 generous handful of wild garlic
1 small handful of almonds (walnuts and pine nuts are also delicious here)
juice of 1 lemon
salt & pepper
Finely dice the onion and the celery. Finely crush (or grate) the garlic, and chop the fresh rosemary.
Heat the butter or oil in a suitable saucepan. When warm, add the diced onion and celery to sauté and soften. If it colours or catches a little this isn’t a problem, it’ll only add depth of flavour. After a few minutes add the garlic and the rosemary… a generous amount of chopped fresh rosemary here is awesome!
Continue to cook gently for another 5 minutes.
Drain and rinse the butterbeans. Add these to the saucepan. At this stage, I like to add the tiniest splash of white wine, but this is totally optional. If you do, allow it to bubble off almost entirely before continuing.
Add a teaspoon, or rather a little pinch, of bouillon powder, and a little splash of boiling water.
Allow everything to simmer for approximately 5 minutes with the lid on; or perhaps with the lid off, if it’s looking liquidy rather then saucey in consistency!
Whizz the pesto ingredients together in any way you chose. I find a hand blender easiest here, but pestle and mortar, food processor etc. both are perfect.
Serve in warmed bowls.