This week’s #FoodFriday post comes from the herb heroes at Jekka’s, the family-run herb farm where over 400 varieties of culinary and medicinal herbs are sustainably grown (you may have seen their recent Instagram takeover on our account). Check out founder Jekka’s recipe for rocket pesto along with some top tips for growing your own herbs.  

Jekka's herb farm

How to make rocket pesto

Ingredients

Makes enough for a small jar.

  • 250g fresh rocket leaves, washed, dried and roughly chopped

  • 275ml extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

  • 1 tsp lemon zest

  • 30g pine nuts

  • 2 garlic cloves

  • Salt

  • 60g Parmesan, grated

Method

Blend the rocket leaves, olive oil, lemon juice and zest, pine nuts, garlic and salt until smooth either in a food processor or using a pestle and mortar. 

Scrape into a bowl and stir in the parmesan. Check the seasoning and add extra to taste.

If storing, put into a sterile screw-top jar and put a layer of olive oil on top before sealing. This will keep for 4 – 6 weeks in the fridge as long as the oil layer is maintained.

Serve as a dip, stir through pasta or add to a potato salad. 

Grow your own wild rocket

Wild rocket grown at Jekka' herb farm

Feeling inspired to get green-fingered and grow your own wild rocket? You can purchase seeds from us online here or find them in our Grow At Home Herb Kits.

Here are our top tips on growing herbs from seed indoors to help you get started:

  • Choose a small container, fill with seed compost and water well.

  • Sow the seeds onto the surface of the damp compost. Sow thinly, average about 6-10 seeds per small pot, depending on the size of the seed.

  • Cover with standard perlite; we use this rather than compost.

  • Watering will not be needed for the first few days, only water if you see the compost drying out. Do this in the morning, not at night.

  • Once the seedling emerges, only water in the morning, not at night. This is because windowsills can often be cold at night and a seedling sitting in cold compost can cause it to wilt, commonly called ‘damping off’.

  • Once they are starting to grow strongly and have produced a number of leaves you can then pot up one size of pot, commonly called ‘potting on’.

About the author

Jekka’s is a family run herb farm with over 30 years’ experience in growing and using medicinal and culinary herbs. They believe in cultivating flavour and aim to educate and inspire gardeners and cooks of all ages. Founder Jekka McVicar is renowned for her herb expertise - she's been awarded the Victoria Medal of Honour in Horticulture by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), 62 RHS Gold medals for her Herb Exhibits, is Vice President of the RHS and wrote Jekka’s Complete Herb Book, which has sold over 1 million copies. 

Keep up with Jekka's on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

Last week's Food Friday: Cooking It's meatball recipe for kids and grown ups

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Jekka's
Herb Garden
Jekka's

Jekka’s is a family run culinary herb farm offering inspiring herb experiences from Open Days to Master Classes as well as plants, seeds, herbal infusions and illustrated gifts.