IT seems like rocket’s everywhere at the minute. If you go into a café anywhere, it’s likely your garnish will contain some of the peppery leaves.
Familiarity breeds contempt, though and just using it as a bog-standard salad ingredient doesn’t bring out its true qualities.
Try using it on a pizza with plenty of decent mozzarella and anchovies or olives.
If that’s not your thing, this easy pesto is a treat with pasta and either crispy bacon or strong-flavoured sausages, such as chorizo or French Merguez.
100g (3.5oz) wild rocket
60g (2.1oz) pine kernels
2 cloves of garlic
60g (2.1 oz) Parmesan cheese
125ml (4.2 fl. oz) extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
Method: Place all the dry ingredients in a food processor and blitz.
With the processor running, drizzle in the olive oil until a smooth, creamy texture is reached.
If you have a glut of rocket, it’s fine to freeze any excess.
Rocket grows best from spring or autumn sowings outside – it quickly goes to seed and becomes inedible in summer.
The plants above were sown in September – just enough warmth to encourage compact, branching growth.
I’m going to cover them with horticultural fleece this weekend to keep them protected from weather extremes, then harvest them in March/April to make a bulk batch of pesto to freeze for next summer.