Seaweed Pesto is made with Laverbread, parmesan, walnuts, olive oil and a little sea salt and white pepper. A pesto that packs a punch in flavour and an ocean of nutrition.
*FROZEN PRODUCT* Shipped frozen - Keep in fridge and use within 10 days of receipt
Ingredients: Laverbread, Parmesan, walnuts, olive oil and a little sea salt and white pepper.
Allergens: Walnuts , Parmesan (dairy). Cannot guarantee crustacean and mollusc free.
Storage: Keep in fridge and use within 10 days of receipt.
What is it?
Despite its name, Laverbread is not a type of bread at all, it is a puree which is made from laver seaweed that has been slowly simmered for several hours. Laverbread is the cooked version of ‘laver’ – porphyra seaweed – a diaphanous red algae found abundantly along Wales’s rocky coastline.
This laver seaweed is hand gathered in a sustainable manner from the UK coastline and then washed several times to remove all the sand, molluscs, and any crustaceans. It is then slowly cooked for several hours before being blended into a gluey puree.
We then mix the laverbread with freshly grated parmesan, crushed walnuts a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and seasoned with Sea Salt and white pepper.
It is then jarred, sealed and frozen to preserve the freshness.
What does it taste like?
I simply love eating good food, and laverbread has this innate ability to make everything taste good. Maybe it’s what the Japanese call "Unami” which means "essence of deliciousness" and is one of the core tastes including Sweet, Sour, Bitter, Savoury and Salty.
It has an Olive Mariney flavour which pairs beautifully with the walnuts, parmesan, and olive oil. It’s a natural fit and a jar full of textured umaminess.
It is also a great first step in trying laverbread for the first time if you are feeling a little unsure about the whole thing.
Laver seaweed - The king of seaweed superfoods
"Laver seaweed contains more vitamins and minerals than any land-based vegetable".
"Gram for gram, Laver contains more protein than chicken."
"Laver contains 10x as much vitamin A as spinach and 4x times as much vitamin C as apples”.
Laverbread is rich in potassium, manganese, iron, calcium, and protein. The level of protein is the highest of all the seaweeds and said it can be between 30 - 50% protein. I found this percentage staggering and didn't quite believe it so I've been sending a sample of dried laver to the labs every month for a year to monitor protein levels and how they change according to the seasons: On average per 100g sample, dried laver holds 35% protein, which is amazing, this means, gram for gram, Laver contains more protein than chicken.
In addition, Laverbread is a powerhouse of vitamins and amino acids and has particularly high concentrations of Vitamin A, B2, B9, and C. Amino acids are essential for muscle development and strength. Vitamin A is important for the immune system and helps support bone health and eye health. Vitamin B9 is important in red blood cell formation and healthy cell growth. Vitamin C helps boost antioxidant levels, lower blood pressure and helps the body repair itself.
“Out of all the seaweeds Laver is the healthiest, it’s the king of all the seaweeds”.
How to use it?
Simply use it as you would with normal pesto. A kitchen saviour when looking for a quick meal option in the evening by simply mixing it with freshly cooked pasta and maybe add some spinach, watercress, a spoonful of crème fraiche and handful of parmesan.
Also lends itself wonderful to a creamy courgette and lemon risotto, simply add the jar of seaweed pesto towards the end of cooking.
Try making this great dip, simply add the jar of seaweed pesto to a pack of cream cheese, a squeeze of lemon and little olive oil, a little mix and serve with a healthy array of crudités such as carrot, cucumber, fennel, baby corn, asparagus spears.
Also helps make a sublime lasagne, simple add a jar under the top layer of pasta and then sauce and cheese on top and bake away.
The back story to Seaweed Pesto.
No one knows precisely when people in west Wales first started eating laver, some say it was first introduced as a survival food by the Vikings, while others say it goes back to the very first inhabitants of Wales. It may have been the first coastal inhabitants who took that bold step into the unknown world of laver seaweed and put it on their plate. In doing so it started a food culinary wonder which became the very fabric of Welsh culture and traditions. However, the traditional use of laverbread as part of the breakfast seemed constrained for such a unique and quite frankly brilliant ingredient.
Seaweed Pesto was invented on our multi award winning flag ship Café Mor - the first fishing boat, solar powered, seaweed kitchen in the world.
I needed a vegetarian dish and wanted laverbread showcased in a different light, laverbread pesto ticked the box and tasted fantastic. We dabbled in pine nuts, almonds, Brazil nuts and even macadamia nuts, but the walnuts always came out on top.
Our go to dish was our seashore wraps with seaweed pesto and cheddar cheese. This was freshly made flat bread filled with the above ingredients and then folded over itself and pan fried on a griddle until it was golden on both sides and hot and delicious on the inside. They went down a storm so much so it helped win us best street food in the UK back in 2011 and opened the door to feeding the athletes in London 2012. The athletes ate over 20,000 pesto wraps in 3 weeks, mostly team GB.
Café Mor started life in 2010 at local farmers markets on my mums 1970s tablecloth and went on to win best street food in the UK twice and then one of 80 Lonely Planets must visit food trucks around the world and selected to cater for the athletes at the London Olympic games in 2012. Farmers markets turned to Glastonbury music festival then turned into the famous fishing boat where it has been anchored at Freshwater West beach for the past several years. It is now located at The Old Point House in Angle Bay, Pembrokeshire.
If you are ever in the area come and say hi!