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basil and nasturtium sauce

It’s raining here on the Fylde coast at the moment, raining a lot!

But last weekend Alex and I went with the British bank holiday weekend tradition of barbecue, with the idea of making a gorgeous meal of smoky vegetables with pasta and nicely charred fruit for afters. However, the sauce we made to go with both was absolutely the star of the meal!

I’m growing nasturtiums this year, I love the flowers to look at but the fact that both flowers and leaves are edible (and delicious) makes it a properly multifunctional plant which appeals to me immensely.

The leaves are beautifully peppery, a little like rocket, and combined with basil and lemon make a lovely fresh sauce that goes equally well with sweet or savoury.

We dressed pasta with the sauce and then topped with barbecued mushrooms, green beans and asparagus for the savoury course. And then for afters we dipped lightly charred watermelon and nectarine in the peppery, herbal, lemony sauce. Both were delicious, and there’s something very pleasing about using the same sauce for the two courses!

 

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basil and nasturtium sauce with barbecued watermelon and nectarine for dipping

 

Serves two for either the sweet or savoury version, double it to try both


30 g bunch of basil, leaves only

10 g nasturtium leaves (stalks are fine too)

2 tbsp good oil, we used cold pressed rapeseed

Juice and zest of 1 small lemon

a small pinch of salt

2 tbsp water

 

This sauce is so simple it really doesn’t need a method!

Simply whizz together all the ingredients in a mini processor or use the attachment from an immersion blender as we did. Done!

 

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gluten free pasta with basil and nasturtium sauce and barbecued vegetables

 


By A. and E.

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Broccoli, butterbean and basil salad

I seem to have slipped into making pretty uninspired salads for work lunches recently, so this time I wanted something a little more coherent, with complementary flavours and textures.
Enter broccoli and basil!
I go through phases with broccoli, sometimes I can take it or leave it and other times I really crave it. It’s so nice in salads and paired with basil makes a lovely dish for the end of summer.
I’ve also added butterbeans for a creamy texture, olives and sun dried tomatoes to complement the basil, and cucumber for crunch. Lovely!

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Broccoli, butterbean and basil salad

serves 2


1 medium head of broccoli, cut into florets
1 400 g tin of butterbeans, drained
30 g fresh basil
3 tbsp water (save it from steaming the broccoli if possible)
1 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
4 sun dried tomatoes from a jar, and 1 tbsp of the oil
20 small olives
about 6 cm cucumber, diced
salt and pepper


Steam the broccoli until just cooked. I did mine for 3 minutes in the microwave, with a little water.
Pick and separate about 1/3 of the basil leaves and set aside.
Blitz the rest with the oil from the tomato jar, vinegar, water, and salt and pepper.
Mix together the drained broccoli, butterbeans, olives and dressing. Leave to cool completely and then fold through the cucumber and basil leaves.


By E.