This easy rocket pesto is fresh, lemony and delicious - a great way to use up surplus rocket, and a lovely homemade gift from the kitchen.
🍴Why you will love this recipe
This simple homemade pesto is a winner – a fresh, lemony pesto with a pine nut crunch. Rocket has a lovely peppery flavour, and is combined with sweet and fragrant basil for a traditional pesto edge.
Rocket is available all year round in supermarkets, but you could substitute in any seasonal green leaves or fresh herbs - watercress, spinach, kale, basil or parsley or a combination of any of those would work really well too.
This peppery pesto makes such a great easy pasta supper, is delicious in toasted sandwiches or drizzled over soups, or perks up a basic vinaigrette for a delicious salad dressing.
📝 What you need
Rocket is easy to find in supermarkets, but you could substitute in any seasonal green leaves or fresh herbs - kale, watercress, spinach, basil or parsley or a combination of any of those would work really well. Rocket is so easy to grow, and this pesto is a great way to use up a glut from the veg patch.
Pine Nuts give a sweet nutty base to this pesto. Toasting them really brings out their flavour and aroma.
Basil adds a sweet and fragrant edge to the pesto, a great complement to the peppery rocket.
Vegan 'Parmesan' Even if you're not a vegan cheese fan, it is almost impossible to tell the difference from the 'real thing' when blitzed into this pesto. I like Violife Prosociano but the nut-based Oh, Grate! by I Am Nut OK is really excellent too.
👩🏽🍳 How to make your Rocket Pesto
For a full, printable recipe with ingredients and detailed instructions, scroll to the bottom of this page 👇🏼.
Toast the pine nuts in a dry frying pan until just turning golden brown. Blitz with the garlic clove until finely chopped.
Add the olive oil, lemon juice and vegan parmesan and blitz again, then finally add the rocket and basil, season well and blitz.
🔪 Top Tips & FAQs
Don't over-blitz the rocket pesto - it is nice when it is a bit chunky, so just pulse a few times at each stage.
Use any herbs you have to hand to add flavour and variation - parsley, basil and thyme are particularly good in pesto.
If kept in an airtight container with a layer of oil on top, the pesto will keep for 7-8 days.
Yes - homemade pesto freezes really well. I freeze it in ice cube trays, then once frozen transfer to a bag or airtight box. It is then really easy to stir a cube through a quick pasta supper or pop into a soup.
- 40 g pine nuts
- 1 garlic clove or 1 teaspoon garlic purée/ready-chopped garlic
- 100 ml extra virgin olive oil
- 1 lemon
- 25 g vegan parmesan or 2 tablespoon nutritional yeast flakes
- 50 g rocket
- 20 g fresh basil
- ½ teaspoon salt and grinding of black pepper
- Meanwhile heat a small, dry frying pan and toast the pine nuts until starting to turn golden brown.
- In a blender or mini-chopper, blitz the nuts with the garlic clove until finely chopped.
- Add the olive oil, juice of the lemon and the vegan parmesan (or nutritional yeast). Blitz again.
- Finally, add the rocket, basil, salt and black pepper and blitz again.
- Store in a jar in the fridge, with an extra slug of olive oil to cover the top to keep the rocket pesto fresh.
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