Our favourite things to make this month were Rocket and Nettle pesto and Elderflower cordial.
Wild Rocket and Nettle Pesto
We had an abundance of rocket in the field so instead of leaving it for the pigs we blended it with wild nettles and a few other things to make a zingy, emerald green pesto, the perfect spread on fresh bread or with a leafy salad. All you will need is:
A big bunch of rocket
A bunch of nettles (you can usually find them in hedgerows, by the side of the road or in the garden!)
A bunch of spinach
A mug of cashew nuts
A good glug of olive oil
A squeeze of lemon juice
Salt and Pepper to your taste
Blitz up the cashews in the blender. Then chop up the nettles (careful not to sting yourself), spinach and rocket and throw it in the blender with the cashews and some olive oil. Blitz them all up together and then add some lemon juice and season to your own taste. Keep blitzing until it becomes the texture you prefer i.e a chunky or smooth pesto ) and hey presto, theres your rocket and wild nettle pesto!
Wild Elderflower Cordial
We love foraging for elderflowers early in the morning when the blossom is at its freshest and sweetest. Carefully pick the flower heads from the tree and place carefully in a basket or container. About 25-30 heads are sufficient to make a cordial. You will also need:
700g sugar (caster or granulated or alternatively 500ml of agave syrup)
4 medium size lemons
1 litre of water
1 clean, grolsch style, pop-top, glass bottle
Put sugar and water in a pan and heat slowly until the sugar has dissolved. Add your flower heads. Now take the peel off of your lemons (leave the white pith) and slice them thinly, add the lemon peel to the flower, water sugar mix. Squeeze some of the juice of the lemons into the mix. Then, take the pith off and slice the lemon thinly then add this to the concoction as well. Leave on the hob for another 10 minutes on a low heat then turn off the heat and leave overnight for the flavour to intensify. The next day, remove the flower heads, lemons and melon peel and pour the liquid into a glass bottle through a sieve or a muslin cloth to strain out any little bits. Pour the rest of the liquid into the ice cube trays and freeze them (you will be thankful for a cold burst of elderflower in your glass of water as the summer months get warmer!). Use the cordial within the next 30 days of making it and the elderflower ice cubes will last the whole summer and maybe the next winter (if they last that long!).