“ Brand: Pollen Organics / Type: Sauces / Food quality: Organic food „
One of my favourite meals I make quite often is pasta with pesto, made simply in the food processor it is easy to combine fresh basil leaves with pine nuts, olive oil, and parmesan cheese to create a perfect sauce for pasta which lasts for ages in the fridge.
I noticed a fresh sauce in my local Waitrose which intrigued me as it was called Fresh English Watercress and Lemon Pesto, and this seemed to combine two of my favourite flavours, namely lemons and watercress, so I bought a jar to try.
Made by a company called Pollen Organics which are new to me, this jar of freshly prepared sauce retails for £3.49, and I think it is perfect in amount for 3 people stretching to 4 depending on appetite and occasion.
Although a fridge item mine had a good long use by date, about 3 weeks from purchase, which is about how long my pesto would last in the fridge if I didn't use it. It is important, however to use within 2 after opening.
Pollen Organics are at www.pollenorganics.com.
They started making food in their own kitchen on their Aga to be precise, and always use fresh ingredients and make the foods they prepare in small batches. Looking at their website they make a good selection of sauces for pasta, as well as salad dressings and marmalade too. Run by Richard and Christianne Pollen they supply whole food shops and Waitrose, but still attend local farmers' markets in Hampshire regularly too. Together they have 7 children, and Richard gave up his career in marketing in 2000 to concentrate on the business with his wife who was a cordon- bleu cook!
The Watercress and Pesto sauce is made from extra virgin olive oil (29%), sunflower oil, fresh watercress (19%), almonds, vegetarian hard cheese, lemon juice (4%), sea salt, garlic, and black pepper. It is a lovely rich dark bottle green sauce, and they only use watercress from Hampshire, which is the UK main growing area.
This is an unusual pesto recipe using almonds, but I have to congratulate them because it is an extremely fragrant sauce, which has masses of flavour. To serve it I didn't even reheat because the steaming hot pasta does this for you. So it really is healthy cooking made simple and effortless!
The watercress flavour is difficult to discern, it really tastes like a top quality basil pesto, but the lemon juice makes it even fresher than some, so it is a perfect summer topping for any kind of pasta or spaghetti. It's even better finished off with some real grated parmesan, which has so much more flavour if you grate it yourself just before serving from a freshly bought piece.
Last week I bought a second jar and had a bit of experiment using it for all the ways I normally use my pesto for. I added it to mashed potato, this made a wonderful pale green comfort food-perfect to marry up with a veggie sausage. I also used it as a base for Paninis, spreading it lightly over half and topping with feta and lovely organic tomatoes with lots of fresh oregano from my garden. Both were delicious.
I am so sad it has taken me so long to find this, especially as they are a well established and respected company. They won the organic food awards with this product in 2002, and this doesn't suprise me because it is innovative as well as delicious.
Watercress is so good for you being loaded with antioxidants so this really unusual twist on basil pesto certainly appeals to me. I really enjoyed it and plan to buy a jar each week. All the family loved it too.
None of the ingredients have seen any kind of chemicals or additives, the jar is glass so doesn't end up in landfill, and the value is good when compared to the cost of making a traditional basil pesto from scratch.