I really loved the last pesto I made recently with fresh wild oregano, which we picked from the mountain. You can use it not only in pasta dishes but also on grilled food or as a topping in many other dishes.
It’s not the traditional pesto you all know but the basic ingredients are there: a herb (oregano instead of basil), garlic, extra virgin olive oil, nuts (walnuts instead of pine nuts) and cheese (feta instead of parmesan).
Oregano comes from the ancient Greek word “origanon” (ορίγανον) from “oros”, which means mountain and “ganos” which means brightness.
It is the plant that gives brightness to the mountain. It is a plant, a gift of nature, used either in cooking or therapeutically. It was considered a symbol of happiness by the ancient Greeks and the Romans, and for this the wreaths made in weddings also contained twigs of fresh oregano.
This aromatic plant, found mainly in the Eastern Mediterranean is our health advocate because it is one of the most powerful natural antioxidants. It’s antioxidant power is 12 times stronger than an orange, 30 times more than a potato and 42 times more than an apple.
This Greek-style pesto turned out delicious and matched perfectly in the white beans salad I made.
Last week I cooked some beans and since I had some leftovers which I did not want to waste, so I freezed them. As I already said in other posts, I am using the word leftover a lot lately, as nothing is thrown away.
I try and cook dried legumes as often as I can and white beans feature at least once a week on our table, as this is a versatile dish and everyone enjoys eating it, adding their favourite ingredients.
So instead of making my usual bean salad, I thawed the beans and thought why not try it with pesto and see how it works.
The ingredients I used were: boiled beans, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, onion, parsley, tuna, roasted red pepper, olives, seasoning and pesto.
We loved it and this makes a very healthy and refreshing summer dish with legumes.
Update 20th October 2017:
Ever since, I’ve made this beans salad many times, adding something different, depending on what I had at hand.
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Makes: 1/2 cup
- 1 cup fresh oregano (only the leaves)
- 2 cloves garlic
- ½ cup walnuts or pecans
- ½ cup olive oil
- Salt and Pepper
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 50 grams feta
- Put all the pesto ingredients, except the olive oil, in a food processor. Pulse until the ingredients are minced.
- Start adding the olive oil gradually.
- Stop to scrape down the sides of the food processor, if necessary.
- Continue adding olive oil until the mixture reaches the consistency of a thick sauce.
- Add cheese and mix.
Beans al Oregano Pesto
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour 15 minutes
- 4 cups of cooked white beans (haricots or white navy beans)
- 10 cherry tomatoes
- 1 small cucumber
- 1 onion
- 6 kalamata olives, pitted
- 2 tbsp parsley
- 1 large canned tuna in water (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 – 3 spoonfuls of oregano pesto
- 2 – 3 Florina Peppers, cut in pieces (optional)
See how to cook the White Beans here.
After boiling and straining the beans, add the remaining ingredients.
Mix in the pesto and adjust salt and pepper if needed.
Refrigerate for half an hour or more to allow for all the flavours to develop and for the salad to chill.
Note: In order to make the recipe vegan, do not add the cheese to the pesto and leave out the tuna fish.
Oregano pesto, with its bold flavour, can be used not only in pasta dishes but also on grilled food or as a topping in many other dishes. In order to make the recipe vegan, do not add the cheese to the pesto and leave out the tuna fish.
Beans al Oregano Pesto
Oregano pesto, with its bold flavour, can be used not only in pasta dishes but also on grilled food or as a topping in many other dishes.
In order to make the recipe vegan, do not add the cheese to the pesto and leave out the tuna fish.
Kopiaste and Kali Orexi,