1、Nutty watercress pesto

An easy, versatile sauce of herbs, Brazil nuts and cheese - perfect added to pasta or spiralized courgetti for a quick meal

Nutty watercress pesto recipe

Ingredients

Method

Blitz until very finely chopped. Add the remaining pesto ingredients and pulse again until mixed, then season to taste. Will keep, well covered, for 4-5 days in the fridge.
https://www.truecookbook.com/recipe/nutty-watercress-pesto-9005/

2、Chicken, squash & pesto lasagne

This alternative pasta bake is great for making in batches- assemble the layers of mascapone, chicken, basil and butternut then freeze or bake
Chicken, squash & pesto lasagne recipe

Ingredients

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a large casserole dish. Add the onions and cook until softened, then add the garlic and cook for a few mins more. Push the onions and garlic to the edge of the pan, add the chicken breasts and cook for a few mins each side to brown. Sprinkle over the flour and stir it into the onion mixture. Tip in the stock and season. Cover and simmer for 10 mins – or until the chicken is cooked through. Using 2 forks, shred the chicken into bite-sized chunks. Add half the mascarpone and the pesto, stirring until the mascarpone has melted into the sauce, bubble for a few mins to thicken a little, then remove from the heat and stir in the basil.
  2. Meanwhile, place the squash in a large bowl with 2tbsp of water, cover with cling film and microwave on High for 12-15 mins, until really soft. Season the squash with a little of the nutmeg and some salt and pepper, and mash lightly with a fork.
  3. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Spoon half the chicken mixture into the bottom of a 20 x 30cm ovenproof dish. Cover with 4 lasagne sheets, then the butternut squash and half the Parmesan. Top with another 4 lasagne sheets, the remaining chicken mixture, then a final layer of lasagne. Mix enough milk into the remaining mascarpone to make a smooth sauce – you need to aim for a consistency similar to white sauce. Season with remaining nutmeg, salt and pepper, then pour over the lasagne. Scatter over the remaining Parmesan and the pine nuts. Bake for 40 mins until piping hot in the centre and crunchy and golden on top. Scatter with a few extra basil leaves before serving.

3、Kipper fish cakes with watercress mayo

Don't reserve this rich smoked fish for the breakfast table- mix with mashed potato, spring onions and parsley and shape into patties
Kipper fish cakes with watercress mayo recipe

Ingredients

  • 300g potato, cubed
  • 2 spring onions, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp choppped parsley
  • 1 pack kipper fillets (about 200g), skin and bones removed, chopped into small pieces
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 85g breadcrumb
  • 3 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 85g bag watercress
  • 2 tsp caper, chopped
  • sunflower oil, for frying
  • lemon wedges, to serve (optional)

Method

  1. Boil the potatoes for 10-12 mins until tender. Drain thoroughly, then roughly mash.
  2. Mix the potato, spring onions, parsley and fish. Season with a little black pepper, then shape into 4 fish cakes. Dip each in the egg and then breadcrumbs to cover. Chill for at least 10 mins.
  3. Whizz the mayo with a small handful of watercress. Season and stir through the capers. Heat a thin layer of oil in a frying pan. Fry the fish cakes for 1 min on a high heat until crisp and brown, then cook for about 4 mins on a lower heat. Repeat on the other side, ensuring the fish is cooked all the way through. Serve with the remaining watercress and the mayo. (See tips on freezing, below left.)

4、Pesto & courgette pasta bake

A handful of ingredients go a long way in this hearty oven-baked supper- use your favourite pasta shape, but we like rigatoni, bows or macaroni
Pesto & courgette pasta bake recipe

Ingredients

Method

  1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Cook the pasta for 1-2 mins less than the pack instructions say, so that it has a little more bite. Reserve a ladle of cooking water.
  2. Meanwhile, mix the pesto, crème fraîche and courgettes together. Add the pasta and stir well, adding a little of the reserved water to create a good sauce consistency. Taste and season.
  3. Tip the pasta and sauce into a baking dish and scatter over the breadcrumbs. Drizzle with a little olive oil and bake for 20 mins until the topping is crisp.

More...