27 March 2011

Spinach, Rocket, Watercress and Walnut Pesto and a Little Spring Lamb

I finally arrived in Scotland...to sunshine.  Spring really has sprung, daffodils and crocus venturing forth all over the place.  I had a good drive up from Lancashire, which I think I fell a little bit in love with.  Rolling hills, the quaintest little villages, great cheese and the most gorgeous northern accents.  And most importantly precious time spent with a dear, dear friend.

The wonderful view from Suzannah's place

That is, a good drive once I managed to get going the right way on the M6.  Driving a manual and on unfamiliar roads, motorways that all look the same, and even with GPS I managed to go round the same roundabout twice and end up back where I started before finally remembering to use the clutch to change gears and take the 5th exit off the roundabout all at the same time. Even with GPS no sense of directions whatsoever. The third time is indeed a charm and I was thankful to be going the right way and finally on my way home.

Lovely Lancashire
I was missing my kitchen so it was time to take over my Mum's for a little culinary therapy.  In the spirit of spring I was in the mood for lamb and some peppery pesto.  And not any old lamb but lamb from the Isle of Mull. Glengorm Castle to be precise, a picturesque fairy tale looking castle that was the destination for out annual Easter holidays when I was a child.  A week of morning trips down to Tobermory, long walks, ploughman's lunches at the pub and decorating eggs to do the annual Easter egg rolling...I think that is what is happening in the pic below. This is the most delicious lamb, tender and so full of flavour, helped along by the fact that the lamb cutlets come full fat intact.  Excuse the photography...but these are way before digital and thankfully my photo taking skills have somewhat improved!

Spinach, Rocket, Watercress and Walnut Pesto


Makes approx 2 cups

2 cups, loosely packed spinach
2 cups, loosely packed rocket
2 cups, loosely packed watercress...or you could use any mixture of the 3.
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of half a lemon
3/4 cup Parmesan
salt and pepper
1 1/2 cups walnuts
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil


In the bowl of a food processor place the spinach, rocket, watercress, garlic, zest and lemon juice, Parmesan, salt and pepper.  Pulse for a moment or 2 to combine, not too much, you want to leave a little texture.  Add the walnuts and pulse again, continue to pulse and drizzle in the olive oil.

Taste and season again if need be.

For the lamb cutlets, simply season with a little salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice.  Grill, or BBQ if the weather permits, the lamb for a few minutes each side.  I like mine on the pinker side of pink but just add a few minutes if you prefer medium to well done.  Allow the lamb to rest for 5-10 minutes.  Serve with a good dollop of pesto for a light spring supper.

The lamb was tender and tasty and I do love getting my finger messy. There is something so satisfying about chewing every last little bit of lamb off the bone and fingers to lick clean.  The lemon adds a light freshness to the pesto, the walnuts lend a little creamy nuttiness and the rocket and watercress join the party with a welcome peppery kick.  Any leftover pesto would be quite delicious stirred through some pasta with a sprinkle of Parmesan.



  1. Beautiful pictures - I am jealous of that Spring Scottish sunshine! Definitely going to try your pesto, I'm a huge fan of lamb, and what a combo! Yum. Loving your travel posts :)

  2. Love the pesto, and the images of the castle!

    Have fun


  3. You are finally home! I can so relate with your driving story, but I am worse - I would not dare drive in Serbia, as I don't know how to drive with a clutch:)
    Beautiful photos of Lankashire and the castle!
    Nothing tastes as good as the food at home when you come back. The pesto looks very springy and bright, and I just adore lamb, gnawing and all. Enjoy the rest of your trip!

  4. I know what you mean about driving manual again, I have that to look forward to next month! Enjoy spring in your beautiful home land.

  5. this post is getting me all excited for spring, and it isn't even winter yet! but love that fresh green pesto, feels so bright and optimistic :) sounds like a lovely visit.

  6. Thanks for the comments :)

    Alli & Lana,,,,driving a manual is a complete mare!

    Milliemirepoix...all in the spirit of trying to bypass/ignore winter...always a good thing!


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