'Gigantes' are giant Greek white beans - like a large version of cannellini beans. They're creamy and balance well with this salty take on pesto.
Grape leaf pesto
- 12 brined grape leaves, drained, blanched and trimmed
- 1 cup fresh mint leaves
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
- ⅔ cup pine nuts or blanched almonds, toasted
- ⅔ cup extra virgin Greek olive oil or more as needed
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 6 cups cooked Greek giant beans (gigantes), about 2 cups raw
- 2 cups baby rocket (arugula), trimmed
- 1 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 4 spring onions (scallions), trimmed and finely chopped
- 1 lemon, zest grated
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
If using raw Greek giant beans, you will need to soak them overnight and so, begin this recipe one day ahead.
1. If using raw Green giant beans, soak them overnight, then add to a pot of boiling water, reduce heat to simmer and cook until tender but al dente. Drain and set aside.
2. Roughly chop the grape leaves and place in a food processor with blade attachment. Add the mint, garlic and nuts. Pulse until the mixture is a dense paste. Gradually add olive oil, until the resulting sauce is thick but liquid. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
3. Combine the beans, rocket, parsley, spring onions and lemon zest in a serving bowl. Add the pesto and mix through. Serve immediately.