Healthy Nut Free pesto May Simpkin Nutrition

Nut Free Pesto with Rocket and Basil

Making your own homemade pesto gives you the freedom to play around with the ingredients and create an alternative version, like this Nut Free Pesto, that is not only delicious and incredibly flavoursome but also super healthy! Pesto is so easy to make and one of the most versatile dishes you can have lurking in the fridge; perfect as a topper for roasted veggies, a base for a salad dressing and of course a favourite for pasta or pizza.

To Make this Nut Free Pesto you’ll need…..

  • 100g Parmesan, grated
  • 100g Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 80g Basil
  • 100g Rocket
  • 6 large cloves Garlic
  • Juice of half a Lemon
  • Salt & Pepper


Put the basil and garlic in a food processor and blend until well ground. Pulse a few times until well combined, scraping down the sides in between. Check seasoning.

  • Ideally you will be using a powerful blender such as a Thermomix or Nutribullet, to make sure that you have an evenly ground pesto
  • Take care with seasoning as the parmesan is already salty
  • I like to make up a batch and leave it in the fridge. This pesto will keep in the fridge for up to 10 days; keep a little layer of Olive oil on the top to keep it fresher for longer
  • For a more zesty pesto, use more lemon juice; ideal with fish or pasta
  • You can vary the herb; parsley, rocket or watercress work particularly well
  • For a protein rich version, try this Zesty Almond Basil Pesto recipe


This Nut Free Pesto is SO versatile:
  • Add as a topping to a white fish or Salmon fillet and bake in the oven
  • Mix in with some roasted vegetables and quinoa/pasta
  • Add a spoonful to a soup when serving for a extra flavoursome punch
  • Use as a stuffing for Butternut Squash or Marrow; scoop out middle and spoon in the pesto. Bake in the oven until soft

Nutritional Nugget:

Garlic belongs to the “Allium” family and is closely related to onions, shallots and leeks. It’s use and health benefits have been long documented across many civilisations. The active ingredient, Allicin, responsible for it’s health benefits is released when raw garlic is crushed, chopped or chewed and this gives garlic it’s distinctive smell. Cooking garlic is thought to reduce these health benefits, which include lowering blood pressure and reducing the risk of heart disease. There is some evidence to support these suggestions but further research is needed. CLICK HERE for a review of the evidence.

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