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This vibrant saucy pesto compliments so many dishes and it is guaranteed to get you out of any sticky patch when it comes to creating a tasty treat or dish. It also is a great way to hide greens if cooking for the kids (sneak in spinach, broccoli or any veg really), and if vegan, either omit the parmesan cheese or swap cheese for ½ an avocado – to add that creamy depth. This pesto will keep in your fridge up to a week, cover with extra oil to preserve and stop discolouring and bring back to room temperature to serve.
Great served with pasta, fish, chicken, meats, in soups, side dip, sandwiches, anti-pasti etc.

Makes 1 small jar


  • 5 tablespoon raw cashew nuts or pinenuts
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 3 tablespoon Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 150 grams semi-dried tomato
  • 50 grams basil (leaves only)
  • 200-300 ml extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and crushed peppercorns to season
  • Vegetarian
  • Low GI
  • Gluten Free
  • Dairy Free: Omit Parmesan / Use half avocado
  • Diabetic Friendly
  • Vegan: Use vegan friendly Parmesan or 1/2 avocado.
  • Paleo: Omit Parmesan, use 1/2 avocado instead.
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  1. Put all the ingredients except the oil and salt into the food processor. Whiz for a second or two; add the oil, salt and peppercorns.
  2. Taste and correct seasoning if necessary.

Maggie's Tips

  • Vary herbs in pesto. Why not try different combinations: Coriander, mint, rocket, spinach, chard, broccoli, watercress etc. The list is endless.
  • Pesto can be frozen in little ice-cube containers. When freezing you are extending shelf life but pesto will discolour so best added to soups or stews only.
  • Want to know a little more about oils in general. Richard shares some of his knowledge in this short interesting video clip.
  • Always remember to source the BEST quality extra virgin olive oil you can source. Go to your local farmers market or nice deli. It is money well spent.