This watercress pesto is delicious with pasta or rice. Bursting with zingy lemon notes, it does not compromise on taste.
Bright and colourful, it is filled with nutritional goodness. A great source of iron, calcium, folate, dietary fibre, antioxidants, vitamin A, C and vitamin K, watercress is nothing short of a superfood and is so incredibly versatile.
Watercress is an indigenous plant in the UK that thrives in slow-moving water. Wild watercress grows freely in rivers, and for a very long time, people foraged on it. Nowadays, it is grown on watercress farms such as this one.
How to make this watercress pesto
Making your own pesto is so easy and rewarding. You can mix and match flavours and also reduce the amount of salt commonly found in commercial pesto brands without compromising on taste.
Here I have added some basil and mint to counterbalance the peppery taste of watercress.
You can make this recipe in a food processor or a blender blitzing the ingredients until you get your desired consistency. I prefer mixing the olive oil afterwards to avoid any bitter aftertaste. For maximum flavour, make sure you use some high-quality extra virgin olive oil.
For best results make sure you grate the garlic clove first otherwise you might end up with big chunks of garlic in your pesto.
Instead of pine nuts, I am using cashew nuts and I have substituted cheese with nutritional yeast to make this watercress pesto 100% plant-based.
What to serve this watercress pesto with?
Delicious with pasta or rice, this pesto is also delicious with other grains, roasted vegetables, flatbread or as a pizza topping.
If you want to try other homemade pestos, you should also try …
Packed with flavour, my vegan carrot top pesto is the perfect topping for pasta, rice, pizza, salads and even eggs.
Inspired by Tom Hunt’s Root to fruit manifesto, this recipe uses the leafy green carrot tops which often go to waste. Blended with basil, a hint of mint, lemon juice, almonds and olive oil, they make a really tasty sauce.
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Watercress Pesto [vegan]
- Food Processor
- 100 g watercress
- 30 g fresh basil
- 20 fresh mint leaves
- 1 grated garlic clove
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 lemon zest
- 50 g unsalted cashews
- 6 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil + extra if needed
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
- Except for the olive oil, put all the ingredients into a food processor or blender. Blitz together until the mixture has a fine texture.
- Transfer to a bowl. Mix in olive oil until you have your desired consistency. Transfer to an airtight jar. Keep refrigerated when not using.