Rocket and basil pesto

For this alternative pesto, we add rocket leaves to the basil and pound them together but you could also try a parsley or even coriander combination… We love them all! It also seems like a lot of olive oil so tone it back if you like, but I think it’s warranted, especially over freshly cooked pasta & muddled with a ladleful of  pasta-water!

Handmade pasta, rocket & basil pesto

Fresh from the garden: rocket, basil, garlic
Recipe source: Melissa
Makes: 3 cups


  • Mortar & pestle
  • Cheese grater
  • Medium frying pan
  • Tea towel
  • Scales
  • Measuring jug
  • Medium bowl
  • Tablespoon
  • Serving bowls if needed

  • 1 bunch basil
  • 1 bunch rocket
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • Salt
  • 80g pine nuts
  • 50g parmesan cheese
  • 200ml extra virgin olive oil

What to do:

  • Before you wash the basil or rocket, pick the stalks from the basil and discard. Weigh the leaves with the rocket – you’ll need about 100g all up.
  • Wash and then spin-dry the basil and rocket, you might need to do this in several stages to make sure the leaves are as dry as can be!
  • Grate the parmesan cheese.
  • Heat the frying pan on a medium heat and lightly dry-toast the pine nuts, shaking regularly so that they don’t stick.
  • Peel the garlic cloves and place in the mortar and pestle with a good pinch of salt. Pound these to a paste.
  • Add the pine nuts to the mortar & pestle and continue to pound. Once smooth-ish, transfer to the bowl and stir in the parmesan.
  • Tear the basil leaves and put them into the mortar. Pound the leaves to a paste. Return the pine nut mixture to the mortar and, pounding it all together, gradually pour in all the olive oil.
  • Taste for salt and adjust if necessary.
  • Mix into steaming hot pasta, spread on bruschetta, drizzle over tomato slices, serve as part of an antipasto plate with goats’ cheese and roasted capsicum or spoon into serving bowls to serve as a dip with flatbreads.

Notes: With what else can you use pesto? What also goes with well with basil? Why do we toast the pine nuts? What does several mean? Why do we weigh the leaves before we wash them?

Categories: Kitchen Garden, Recipe | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Rocket and basil pesto

  1. That sounds delicious 🙂

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