Minty pea pesto


Mary Llewellin has ideas for delicious baby purees

At Snapdragons, first baby purees tend to be very simple, with maybe only one or two ingredients, so they hardly need a recipe. Our photo shows three of our favourite combinations that always go down well with our babies: parsnip and spinach, cauliflower with ground coriander and, finally, sweet potato with flaked white fish. We always serve some finger food alongside, usually vegetable batons cooked until soft enough to munch with baby gums but firm enough for a tight pincer grip.

Root vegetables are a great base for other ingredients because they are packed with nutrients, have a naturally sweet flavour and blend smoothly. Adding cooked red lentils ups the protein if the baby isn’t ready for tackling the slightly grainier texture of meat, and a dollop of natural yoghurt can help there too.

When the baby is ready for more texture, this minty pea pesto stirred into mini pasta shapes is a surefire winner:

Ingredients

  • 50g frozen peas
  • ½ garlic clove
  • 30g Parmesan or cheddar
  • 5 fresh mint leaves
  • 5 tbsp olive oil

Method

  • Cook the peas and the peeled, halved garlic clove for 2-3 minutes in boiling water, drain then blend with the Parmesan and mint in a food processor, or with a hand blender, adding the olive oil a spoonful at a time until the mixture reaches a pesto-like consistency (you may not need it all). Mix a small spoonful of the pesto with a portion of cooked pasta shapes and serve with or without spoon!
  • The remaining pesto can be stored for three days in the fridge and used as needed with more freshly cooked pasta shapes. This works well with crushed, boiled potatoes too and you can add some flaked white fish, checking very carefully for bones, or some shredded cooked chicken for a variation on the theme.

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