19July

strawberry and pesto pasta

strawberry and pesto pasta

It's amazing the difference that fresh, seasonal ingredients make to this summer recipe.

The fragrance from the strawberries and basil for 2 North Parade in Oxford on be kitchen table was intoxicating and reinforced my conviction that not all strawberries are created equal.

With memories of Wimbledon still fresh from last week, it's good to shift away from the classic dessert with cream and use the strawberries as the highlight of a savoury dish.

We combined whole grain pasta (from Infinity Foods) with a mix of chilli pesto, red pepper hummus and some lemon juice. When the pasta's ready, it's simply a matter of creating a salad to your liking. Some vivid Swiss chard and basil from North Aston organics, thin slices of salad onions, a few tomatoes, pumpkin seeds and the dark red strawberries from Rectory Farm in Oxfordshire provide the body of the salad.

For a more decadent touch we added some slices of Wigmore cheese that introduced the smooth, cosmopolitan feel of an Italian pecorino.

Like any successful salad, the balance of texture, flavour and aroma is key. The slightly bitter taste of chard is mellowed by the sweetness of the berries and the soft cheese. Pumpkin seeds and the hint of onion provide additional crunch that highlights the nutty taste of whole grain pasta.

It's definitely something we'll try again. Eat and enjoy!

Photography: Ben Robinson

Styling: Tanya Robinson

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