Watercress pesto

Serves: Makes about 300ml

Watercress pesto

This is every bit as delicious and versatile as a classic pesto made with basil. Toasting the pine nuts brings out their flavour which you can really taste as watercress isn’t as pungent as basil. This makes a generous amount of pesto but it will keep for about 5-6 days in the fridge or you can freeze any leftovers. I have mixed 4-5 tablespoons of double cream with about 4-5 tablespoons of watercress pesto and then stirred this into a couple of packets of potato gnocchi (cooked according to packet instructions) and about 250g blanched dwarf beans. You could stir the pesto into soups or, for a really easy supper, scoop out some baked potatoes and mix the flesh with some of the pesto. Stuff this back into the skins and grate over a little extra parmesan.


  • 75g pine nuts
  • 125g watercress
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
  • 60g parmesan, freshly grated
  • 100ml extra-virgin olive oil
Watercress pesto


  1. Place the pine nuts in a frying pan and toast over a moderate heat for 2-3 minutes or until the nuts are evenly coloured. Set aside to cool.
  2. Place the watercress, garlic, parmesan, cooled pine nuts and a generous pinch of salt in a food processor. Blend to a rough paste then slowly, with the motor running, drizzle in the olive oil. Taste and season with a little more salt if necessary.
Watercress pesto