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Recipe - Super Versatile Pesto

Pesto is an absolute classic. But most recipes call for specific equipment (a food processor or a mortar and pestle) or exact ingredients. We want to throw all of this out of the window and show how wonderfully versatile pesto can be.

At Elysia, we work with whatever surplus ingredients we have available, which makes us pretty good an making do with what we have. And pesto is a favourite on our menus for that very reason. Don't have basil - why not use parsley or rocket? No pine nuts; try walnuts, cashews or seeds. Read our guide and you'll be able to make a delicious pasta sauce, dip or spread at home with ease.

Makes around 250g (enough for 4-6 people as a pasta sauce)

  • 2 handfuls of herbs or salad (parsley, basil, rocket, watercress and spinach all work well)

  • 1 garlic clove

  • 1 handful of nuts or seeds (pumpkin and sunflower seeds, walnuts, cashews or pinenuts work well)

  • 150ml oil (sunflower, rapeseed, olive oil or a mixture. We use the delicious organic olive oil from Oliveology)

  • 1 handful of grated cheese (optional: Parmesan, pecorino or mature cheddar work well)

  • Salt and pepper, to taste


- Place a damp teatowel or cloth under your chopping board to stop it moving.

- Start by bashing the garlic clove with the flat part of the knife to remove the peel. Sprinkle a little salt on the clove and use the knife to push down the garlic into your chopping board and pull back to crush the flesh. Continue until the garlic has turned into a paste and add to a bowl.

- Finely chop the herbs and add to the bowl with the garlic. Do the same with the nuts or seeds.

- Add the cheese (if using) and enough oil to get your desired consistency.

- Taste and season as required. Enjoy straight away or keep in the fridge for up to 1 week. Pesto freezes very well too.

Follow along to our pesto cooking demo:

For more zero waste recipes subscribe to the Elysia youtube channel here.

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