Come on, we all know Pesto is Italian so how can we have this Easy Great British Pesto Recipe. Simple my friends, we use traditionally British ingredients to make our own version of this Italian classic sauce.
What is pesto?
The word ‘pesto’ is Italian for ‘to pound’. By pounding we mean to mash stuff together to form a past. In this case the paste is pesto.
Traditionally pesto is made using a pestle and mortar and a good bit of old fashioned elbow grease. To be honest this is my favourite way to make pesto. I find it soothing. Hang on, is that soothing or a good way to pound out frustration at something or someone? Either way I like making pesto in the traditional way.
You can of course go fast and furious and use your food processor or mini chopper.
I love pesto, it can brighten up so many dishes, check out the whole Pesto Section on Larder Love.
Ingredients for Great British Pesto
Instead of the standard (expensive) pine nuts I’m using walnuts which have a good strong flavour.
Watercress and parsley replace the usual basil in this recipe. Don’t have any watercress? Then make do with spinach or even any salad greens lurking in the fridge. Spinach will of course give a much stronger flavour than other greens.
Cheddar cheese replaces the usual Italian cheeses here, this is an Easy Great British Pesto after-all!
I’m also throwing in English mustard powder for a bit of a kick and the usual olive oil and salt and pepper.
How to make this British style pesto
First you’ll want to toast those walnuts to get even more flavour out of them. I use a dry pan to do this and as it only takes about a minute you must watch them like a hawk. This is not the time to answer your phone or go to the loo! These babies will catch and burn so easily. As soon as they are just slightly golden and releasing that lovely nutty aroma remove from the heat and tip them out of the pan and on to a plate. If you leave the in the hot pan they will continue to cook and burn. Nobody likes burnt nuts!
Then it is just a case of whazzing everything together in your food processor or mini chopper.
I have put two tablespoons of olive oil in the recipe but use whatever you need to get the consistency you require.
If you want to use your Great British Pesto for sandwiches then add less oil for a firmer pesto. Want it for a pasta sauce? Add more oil The choice is yours.
Looking for more super easy pesto recipe ideas? Then check these out before you go;
I have even gone as far as to write an e-Book called A Passion For Pesto where I share over 75 different recipes both for pesto and how to use it. From standard herb pestos, to using veggies and even weeds. Then I go right over the top and make sweet pestos. Guess you could say I do love my pesto!
Looking for more store cupboard ideas? Then check out my 50 Homemade Pantry Staples article for a whole host of quick and easy recipes to get that store cupboard full again.
Finally, if you do try this recipe don’t forget to leave a comment/star rating below as I just love to hear from readers. Want more Larder Love? Then follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter and sign up for my newsletter too of course.
Great British Pesto
- 2 tbsp walnuts chopped
- 1 cup watercress
- 2 tbsp parsley
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1/4 tsp English mustard powder
- 2 tbsp cheddar cheese finely grated
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- Toast the chopped walnuts in a dry pan for approximately 1 minute or until golden and releasing that lovely nutty aroma
- Whizz the watercress and parsley in food processor along with the garlic, mustard powder, cheddar, salt and pepper and the toasted walnuts
- Add the olive oil till you get the consistancy you prefer. Less olive oil for a firmer paste for sandwiches, more for a sauce