Pesto is traditionally made with a mix of pecorino and parmesan, but we've made this version with pecorino alone for a sharper flavour. Here it's spread on bruschetta and topped with a sprightly salad to make a perfect start to a long lunch.
- 80 gm (½ cup) pine nuts
- 3 cups (firmly packed) basil
- 80 gm pecorino, finely grated
- 200 ml olive oil, plus extra for brushing
- Finely grated rind and juice of 1 lemon
- 2 zucchini, thinly sliced lengthways on a mandolin
- 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
- 2 cups (loosely packed) mint, coarsely torn
- 1 cup (loosely packed) flat-leaf parsley, coarsely torn
- 6 thick slices sourdough bread
- To serve: nasturtium flowers (optional), torn
- 1Preheat oven to 180C. Roast pine nuts on an oven tray, shaking occasionally, until golden (2-3 minutes). Set aside to cool, then process in a food processor with basil, pecorino and 80ml olive oil, until finely puréed. Stir in another 80ml oil until a thick consistency. Stir in half the lemon rind and half the juice, season to taste and set aside.
- 2Heat a char-grill pan over medium-high heat. Combine zucchini and remaining olive oil in a bowl, season to taste and char-grill in batches, turning occasionally, until golden (2-3 minutes). Transfer to a bowl, add garlic and remaining lemon rind and juice, season to taste and set aside to marinate (10 minutes). Just before serving, add mint and parsley, and toss to combine.
- 3Brush bread with olive oil and char-grill, turning once, until golden (1-2 minutes each side). Spread with pesto, top with zucchini and mint salad, scatter with nasturtiums and serve.
This recipe is from the March 2013 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.