Mix up a dinner time favourite with this savoury Rocket & Walnut Pesto

Savour the peppery notes of this Rocket and Walnut Pesto in your favourite pasta, as a spread on a sandwich or even as a base to a salad dressing

Rocket & Walnut Pesto sits on a dark wooden table
Rocket & Walnut Pesto
(Image credit: Phil Dunlop)

If you're itching to try other iterations of Italy's favourite sauce, then you're in luck. With pesto, the possibilities are endless, and our Rocket and Walnut Pesto is no exception.

Rocket & Walnut Pesto sits on a dark wooden table

(Image credit: Phil Dunlop)

Rocket and Walnut Pesto

Serves 4


50g shelled walnuts
120g or 2 generous handfuls of wild rocket leaves
1 garlic clove, peeled and roughly chopped
50ml walnut oil
juice of ½ lemon
salt and pepper
50g Parmesan cheese, grated
100ml (approx) virgin olive oil


Place the walnuts in a dry frying pan and toast gently over a medium flame for a few minutes until they begin to smell nutty and fragrant. Shake the pan and don’t let them burn. Allow to cool.

Put the rocket, garlic and walnut oil into the bowl of a food processor and grind to a rough paste.

Add the nuts, lemon juice, a teaspoon of salt and a good grinding of black pepper, and continue to process.

Transfer the mixture to a bowl and add the Parmesan and half the olive oil. Mix well and add more olive oil until you have a loose paste.

Adjust the seasoning, adding more salt, pepper, and lemon juice to taste.

Serve tossed with spaetzle (a German soft egg noodle) or pasta.


Recipe by Melina Keays, Entertaining Director