This really deliciously simple dip came to me after flicking through an old copy of Gourmet Traveller. I had ‘post-it-noted’ a page for a dill pesto, but when I looked more closely at the recipe I realised that, if I was making it, I would do it slightly differently. So here is mine.
LEMONS. This recipe is also inspired by what is flourishing in my garden right now. In particular, my very productive Eureka lemon tree – the branches of which are currently being weighed down by kilos of fruit.
It’s feast or famine with lemons around here. We either have tons of them, and can’t give them away, or there are none on the tree and $10 a kilo in the shops. What to do with them? As well as cooking up lots of pots of lemon curd, I also make a few jars of preserved lemons – then I have to think about how to use them. I have a few ‘go to’ recipes, and this pesto is about to join that list.
DILL. For us here, in the subtropics, winter is the perfect time for growing dill and, come springtime, it is bursting into lovely lemony flowerheads – so a perfect time to harvest whatever lower fronds you have before this annual plant is finished. This recipe is the kind I like too because you can use up any part of the plant – leaves, stems and even flower buds if you want to. I do love to let it go to flower though because it is a great beneficial insect and pollinator attractor.
- 1 bunch of dill with stems.
- 1 garlic clove, crushed.
- 1 large teaspoon of finely chopped preserved lemon.
- 1/2 cup almond meal.
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Freshly ground black pepper.
- You may need extra salt, but the preserved lemon may be enough.
- Enough filtered water to thin to desired consistency – you may not need it.
TO MAKE. Place all the ingredients in a food processor and whizz until smooth. Adjust seasoning.
NOTE When using PRESERVED LEMONS in cooking YOU ONLY USE THE SKIN. Scrape out the flesh and discard it. Make sure you alo wash the skin in fresh running water before adding to a recipe – otherwise it will be too salty.
I forgot to mention that there are lots of goodies in this recipe that make it very nutritious and suitable for vegans too.
Great as a snack with flatbread or as a side dish with barbecues fish. My latest lockdown breakfast is this pesto on toast topped with a slice of smoked salmon – there has to be some pleasure?
Here is another recipe that requires preserved lemons – a lot of them! Very delicious. Simply click on the links below to take you to the recipe.
And why not another couple of favourite dishes with lots of dill in them from the Greek tradition?