Cook what you grow...

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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.