There is something fascinating about preserving. As you know, here at Oliveology, we love eating what’s in season. However, there is a way to enjoy foods, even when they are not in season. Yes, by preserving them! Over the years we’ve experimented with preserving Butternut squash in sugar or dried figs in olive oil and vinegar. This time around we are making pesto. Yes, we have made pesto before, with pistachios, parsley and basil. But this one is different. It’s made with basil, almonds and sun-dried tomatoes!

It is funny if you think about it. Sun dried tomatoes are tomatoes dried in the sun. Preserved in the sun. Our pesto takes this already preserved ingredient and preserves it even more. Preserving the preserved if you may.

The wonderful thing about pesto is that you can make as much as you want and store it in the fridge. Then, whenever you get hungry all you have to do is open your jar. This pesto is delicious on its own, spread on toasted bread. It also pairs well with white cheese, like our galomizithra cheese. Of course it is ideal for a summery pasta lunch. Just mix it with warm pasta and serve with a glass of wine. Ta Da!

For one large jar you will need:

1 cup of basil (approx. 80g)
50g raw almonds with skin
100g sun dried tomatoes
1 fat clove of garlic
120ml extra virgin olive oil
40gr Naxos graviera grated cheese

In a food processor pulse the basil, almonds, sun dried tomatoes and garlic until coarsely chopped. Slowly add the olive oil and pulse, until fully incorporated. Pesto should be grainy but with no large lumps.

Transfer to a bowl and mix in the cheese. Add some olive oil if needed and taste.

Store in a jar in the fridge.

You can source the almonds, sun dried tomatoes, graviera cheese, and of course olive oil from our shop at Borough Market.


Pesto is one of the things we love. And we also love playing around with it. Use different herbs. Different nuts. Different types of cheese. Always keep the extra virgin olive oil though.

This week we got inspired by our pistachios. With beautiful pink exteriors and vibrant green kernels, these little gems from the island of Aegina are sweet and intense in flavour. Nothing to do with your supermarket stuff.

This recipe is so versatile. You can make a large batch and then use it in so many different recipes. Mix with warm pasta shells, put a dollop over baked potatoes, mix it into your favourite soup, mix with some Greek yogurt for an easy dip. The combinations are endless. These are the recipes we love. Few, good ingredients. Easy to make. Easy to use.

Makes one cup of pesto
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil 
½ cup unsalted pistachios kernels
½ cup basil
½ cup parsley
1 tbs grated St Isidoros cheese* (or parmesan)
lemon juice to taste
pinch of salt

Pick the leaves from the herbs and save the stalks for stock. You can dry fry the pistachios in a frying pan if you like, but raw are better if you ask me. In a blender or with a pestle and mortar place the herbs and pistachios. Blend, adding slowly the extra virgin olive oil until your pistachios are crushed and combined with the herbs. Add the cheese and stir. Season with salt and squeeze generously the lemon juice to balance the nuttiness of pistachios. If you don’t use it right away, store in a jar in the fridge, pouring some olive oil on top.

*St. Isidoros is a goat’s milk hard cheese from Naxos Island. Come and try it at our shop at Borough Market.


We think that life is too short for one type of pesto. So why don’t you “Greek up” your pesto pasta by replacing basil with oregano and pine nuts with almonds?

Ingredients:

500g pasta –we recommend linguini or whole wheat penne

For the pesto

200g feta crumbled
1/2 teacup Kalamata olives –without their pits
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil (and 1/4 cup for serving)
2 garlic cloves
25g almonds –toasted, if desired for enhanced flavour
Bunch of parsley (chopped)
1 teaspoon dried Greek oregano
Mizithra or graviera for serving
Freshly ground pepper
Sesame and parsley (if desired) for serving

Method:

Tip the pasta into a large pan of boiling salted water and cook until al dente. Set aside 1/2 cup of pasta water.

In the meantime, place the parsley, almonds, cloves and oregano in the bowl of a food processor (or blender) fitted with a steel blade and blend to a puree. Add the olives, feta and pasta water and blend again. With the processor running, slowly pour the olive oil into the bowl through the feed tube. Pulse until well combined, adding blanching water by tablespoons to thin if needed, and stopping occasionally to scrape down sides.

Transfer pasta to a bowl and toss vigorously, drizzling with oil and adding pesto, sesame, freshly ground pepper, parsley (if desired) and cheese as you continue to toss, until pasta is glossy and well coated with sauce. Serve hot or cold. Enjoy! Store the pesto in the refrigerator or freezer with a thin film of olive oil on top.