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Vegan Pesto

This pesto is a favourite at the Cookery school and we make it frequently on many of our classes, particularly our Italian classes and cookery holidays. It uses a generous amount of fresh basil, nuts and olive oil and is well worth the effort. You can also make it with watercress, rocket, baby spinach leaves, parsley, wild garlic or a mixture. Pesto is great as a dip, served on bruschetta or used as a pasta sauce, salad dressing or pizza topping. What are your favourite uses of pesto? 

Pasta with Wild Garlic Pesto

Vegan Pesto


  • 75g pine nuts, toasted
  • 75g hazelnuts, roasted and skins rubbed off
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 175ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 75g fresh basil
  • 2tbsp lemon juice
  • 1tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1tsp apple juice concentrate
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Take the basil leaves off the stalks. In a food processor or in a pestle and mortar crush the pinenuts and hazelnuts roughly and then decant them into a bowl and set aside.
  2. Pureé the garlic with a pinch of salt in a little of the olive oil, then add the basil leaves and the rest of the olive oil and pureé just enough to break up the basil to a rough texture.
  3. Add the lemon juice, vinegar and apple juice concentrate and mix. Pour the basil and garlic mixture into the crushed nuts and stir in. Season to taste.