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Recipe for :

Pesto and Other Sauces
 

This recipe has been published with the kind permission of Alex Mackay who, among other things, runs Le Baou D'Infer cookery school. Alex is the former director of the cookery school at Raymond Blanc's world famous Le Manoir aux Quat' Saisons. He has also worked in the kitchens of three two-star Michelin restaurants in France, making him as informed about French cuisine as he is fluent in the language.

For part of the year Alex runs Le Baou D'Infer, a cookery school with a difference. Located in the heart of the breathtaking Provençal countryside, yet just twenty minutes from St Tropez, the school is in the grounds of a working vineyard, steeped in the dappled light and the fragrance of herbs which make this area of France so unforgettable. The great thing is that anyone can enrol for a week with Alex.

Le Baou D'Infer is a unique cookery school, in particular because of its intimate class sizes. There is a maximum of six students per course, which means that you will have Alex Mackay's undivided attention, whatever your culinary questions or requirements. Personal encouragement and Alex's total involvement are assured for every guest, which means you get the ultimate enjoyment and a sense of confidence and achievement from your time there.

"Handy, healthy sauces and purees that all keep well in the fridge for days. They can all be made slightly thicker or thinner with the addition of a little more or less olive oil. These are not really recipes for any set moment; they are more to take bits of perhaps as part of a luncheon spread, perhaps as pasta sauces. The Pestos are also wonderful for finishing risottos".

Basil Pesto

Ingredients

2 bunches
Basil (picked)
50 ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 cloves Garlic (peeled)

Method

This needs no introduction; add Parmesan or Pecorino cheese if you prefer, pine or walnuts if you want, a little lemon or lime if you like. It will always be wonderful.

  • Mix together in a mortar and pestle or a food processor as fine or coarsely as you like and season to taste.
  • Conserve covered with olive oil or freeze

Watercress or Rocket Pesto

Ingredients

1 large bunch Watercress or Rocket
30 g Grated Parmesan cheese
50 ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 cloves Garlic (peeled)
Juice of one Lime
Salt and Pepper

Method

Wonderfully spicy, either of these is perfect for finishing a risotto

  • Mix together in a mortar and pestle or a food processor as fine or coarsely as you like and season to taste.
  • Conserve covered with olive oil or freeze.

Parsley Pesto

Ingredients

1 large bunch Flat leaf Parsley (picked)
30 g Blanched Almonds
80 ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 cloves Garlic (peeled)
Juice of one Lemon
Salt and Pepper

Method

  • Mix together in a mortar and pestle or a food processor as fine or coarsely as you like and season to taste.
  • Conserve covered with olive oil or freeze

Alex Mackay

 
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