Seasonal recipe – Autumn Equinox ’23

Sep 21, 2023

Parsley Pesto

Do you have a glut of parsley? We don’t have enough customers for our luscious crop of parsley so we’re enjoying it in bulk! But maybe you have a plant that’s gone a bit mad in your greenhouse or herb garden and want to prune it back?

Serves: 4 + • Preparation Time: 20 minutes • Author: Alice

Photo credit: “Parsley Pesto” by Katrin Gilger is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

Adapt the recipe to your own taste and on what you have available. I’m not a mega parsley fan but I find parsley pesto has other flavours that make the parsley flavours ok!

Ingredients:

  • A big bunch of parsley leaves (at least 150g) optionally add a few leaves of kale (this can dampen down the parsley flavour a bit)
  • Vinegar or lemon juice
  • Oil
  • Tahini or peanut butter (or other nut / creamy ingredient)
  • Garlic clove
  • Salt
  • A roasted veg for a thicker base
  • (Some would add cheese too but I personally don’t)

Preparation

A submersible hand blender is the easiest bit of kit to wash up I think, but a food processor would do a great job. Traditionally, with basil pesto, you should use a pestle and mortar but I’ve never tried that with parsley!

So…

Pull the leaves off your parsley stalks and compost the stalks (or put elsewhere for stock making), leaves into a bowl (or food processor)


Pour a couple of tablespoons of both oil and vinegar or lemon juice over the leaves


Add around a tablespoon of peanut butter or tahini


Chop up one small garlic clove and add to the mix (raw garlic can overpower the other flavours – so be careful)


Add some salt (start with only half a teaspoon – you can always add more later)


If you want to add cheese grate it first, then add.


If you are using a food processor then start pulsing it, making sure to stop and move the non whizzed bits towards the blades.
If using a hand blender stop and start the blender pushing down to squash the leaves. Occasionally you may need to stop and scoop out the stuff stuck near the blades (with a teaspoon, not your finger!)


Persevere! It can take a little while for it to come together and have a good consistency. Adding more oil will help it to blend smoothly but I personally don’t like to so I add in some juicy roasted veg (eg. courgette, tomato or aubergine). This helps the blender to process the leaves.


Spread on toast, mix with pasta or as part of a sauce for roast veg or many other options. Enjoy!


Sometimes I’ve made more than I’ll eat in a few days so I freeze the pesto in a couple of portion sizes at a time.

Photo by Alice: Parsley growing at the market garden with dahlias in the background.

Thanks to Alice for sharing this seasonal recipe with the WWOOF UK community. Since food is so important to us all, especially when you’ve played a part in producing the ingredients yourself, we love sharing a good recipe. If you have a signature dish that you think will tantalise our tastebuds then please send it to: editor@wwoof.org.uk

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