In The Country Magazine
home made pesto
In The Country Lifestyle

Kitchen lessons from lockdown

From homemade pesto, dried breadcrumbs and the ultimate breakfast smoothie, here are the recipes we have learnt from extra time spent in the kitchen.

Homemade pesto

Never had we attempted this before we found ourselves staring at the larder wondering ‘wtf’. Turns out though, homemade pesto is a good way to use up wilting basil and parmesan rinds, and makes anything – from leftover pasta, to toast – way more interesting. Simply pop everything in a food processor or Nutribullet and you’re done.


1 big bunch of fresh basil
1 handful of pine nuts
1 generous handful of freshly grated parmesan cheese (rind or dried bits are fine to throw in)
Plenty of extra virgin olive oil
Juice of half a lemon , optional but adds a nice zing


Peel the garlic, and crush with a pinch of sea salt, before putting into the food processor.

Pick, roughly chop and add the basil leaves, then the pine nuts and pound again, then stir in half the parmesan.

Drizzle in some oil, just enough to bind the sauce and get it to an oozy consistency.

Add most of the remaining cheese, then season to perfection with salt and black pepper. Have a taste, and keep adding a bit more cheese or oil until you are happy with the taste and consistency.

Add a squeeze of lemon juice at the end to give it a little twang, if you like, but it’s not essential.


If you have time lightly toast the pine nuts to give them a creamier taste

The Ultimate Breakfast Smoothie

A delicious and energising morning snack, this smoothie is delicious and starts you off with at least one of your five-a-day. The medjool dates also add a salted caramel flavour for a grown-up treat first thing!


2 ripe bananas
2 dates (medjool taste best, be sure to remove stones)
A handful of ice
A handful of cashew nuts

A cup of oat or almond milk
A tbsp of raw cocoa nib
A cup of oat or almond milk
A tbsp of raw cocoa nibs

*Optional: a handful of washed spinach or leftover berries


Combine all the ingredients in a blender and pulse until smooth. This should make two servings, so pour over ice, and if you’re feeling really boujis, why not sprinkle some chopped nuts or energy-boosting chia seeds on top and a paper straw to enjoy in the morning sunshine?


We rate adding the handful of spinach or some blueberries for the extra vitamin boost, and be sure to serve ice cold.

Fresh breadcrumbs

This may be obvious for many, but it wasn’t until we became aware of using every last morsel of food, that the idea of using up stale loaf ends sprung to mind. Simply throw any ends into a food processor and pulse (it’s loud).

Breadcrumbs make a great savoury topping for dishes such as pasta bakes.


Try combing with a slug of olive oil – or your homemade pesto! – for a really fresh Summer flavour. If storing, be sure to use really stale, dry bread, as any remaining moisture might see the crumbs going mouldy.

Have you learned some kitchen tips during lockdown? We’d love to hear from you @inthecountryinsta

Want to learn how to kick-start your day the right way? – Click here for some more breakfast style recipes!

Images sourced via Unsplash.

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