Vegan Watercress, Rocket, Spinach & Almond Pesto

As you may have already seen I’m hosting Pasta Please this month for Jac at Tinned Tomatoes. It was down to me to pick the theme and I went for homemade pesto as this is something I’ve been meaning to try for a while and because I wanted to see how creative people could get with the idea. So far I’ve seen lots of great entries and I hope there will be more to come by the end of the month. For my pesto I went for a vegan version as my boyfriend doesn’t eat cheese. I was so impressed with how this turned out (especially the vibrant green colour) that I don’t think I’m going to buy jars of pesto again. I also didn’t really miss the cheese in it. Although the pesto is vegan this doesn’t mean you can’t serve it with meat or fish if you want to which is what I did here.

I consulted the Flavour Thesaurus (a great book for working out flavour combinations) to decide which nuts to use and I chose almonds because they go with well with oily fish and I had some trout fillets in the freezer that I wanted to use. I made a big batch which was enough for 6 portions. On the first day I served it with cooked flaked rainbow trout and pasta, the next day we had it with pasta again, smoky bacon and peppers and tonight I used it to top a jacket sweet potato for myself. I’ll be using the last portion stirred through pasta for my lunchbox tomorrow. At a cost of ¬£2.50 for a bag of watercress, rocket and spinach leaves and a packet of blanched almonds to make 6 portions (assuming you already have olive oil and garlic in the cupboard) this is an affordable way of perking up your pasta.

Pesto with flaked rainbow trout

Ingredients – serves 6

120g bag of watercress, rocket and spinach leaves, washed and dried
100g blanched almonds
2 fat cloves of garlic, finely chopped
120ml extra virgin olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a food processor or blender add the leaves, garlic and almonds and process on high power. With the motor running slowly pour in the olive oil. Stop to scrape down the sides with a spatula and add salt and pepper to taste then pulse to combine. Transfer to a bowl and either serve straight away with pasta or cover with a thin layer of oil and keep covered with clingfilm in the fridge and use within 4 or 5 days.

Leftover pesto served with a jacket sweet potato

I’m entering this into Pasta Please, Credit Crunch Munch run by Camilla and Helen (this month’s host), Made With Love Mondays, Simple and in Season this month hosted by Louisa at Chez Foti, Herbs on Saturday this month hosted by London Busy Body


  • Camilla
    March 14, 2013 at 9:35 pm

    That looks delicious and tasty Jen, just my kind of food. Thank you for entering Credit Crunch Munch with a super recipe!

  • Javelin Warrior
    March 14, 2013 at 11:25 pm

    I love you found a way to make pesto without cheese, Jen. Pesto has been on my list of recipes to make for a LOOOOONG time and still haven’t gotten around to it. The use of almonds vs. pine nuts is also intriguing to me… Thanks so much for sharing!

    • Jen Price
      March 20, 2013 at 6:52 pm

      To be honest the main reason I picked almonds is because they’re cheaper than pine nuts!

  • Hazel @Cupcakery
    March 15, 2013 at 10:13 am

    yummy! This I am going to give a go… I hate buying jars of pesto when I know it’s so simple to whip up. And the almonds- yum! I love almonds ūüôā Hazel x

    • Jen Price
      March 20, 2013 at 6:53 pm

      After seeing all the other entries for the Pasta Please challenge I’m definitely going to be making a lot more pesto at home now and finding ways to cut out the cheese so my boyfriend can enjoy it as well.

    March 15, 2013 at 11:24 am

    Oh this looks gorgeous and I love that you used a combined bag of watercress, rocket & spinach. I bet it was heavenly stirred into pasta with flaked trout – so going to make! Thanks so much for entering this month’s Simple and in Season.

    March 16, 2013 at 8:34 am

    That looks delicious and healthy! I want to try this one. Thanks for entering in Herbs on Saturday this month.

  • Freshly black pepper
    March 28, 2013 at 5:22 pm

    “freshly ground black pepper” Yes, it’s important for gourmet. Fresh pepper is important because ground pepper can be keep only 3 months.. for fragrance. But its also important to choose an aromatic pepper, its change a lot compare pepper from supermarket. I finally adopted Kampot pepper for its exotic fragrance. Your “vegan watercress, rocket, spinach & almond Pesto” merit this pepper for foodie. Inquire.

  • Home-made Chunky Basil & Roasted Almond Pesto ¬Ľ Coffee & Vanilla
    May 29, 2015 at 4:18 pm

    […] you are looking for more home-made pesto recipe ideas, check out those recipes:¬†Vegan Watercress, Rocket, Spinach & Almond Pesto from Jen’s Food,¬†Nasturtium Pesto¬†and¬†Parsley Pesto from¬†The Botanical Kitchen or Radish […]

  • Margot @ Coffee & Vanilla
    May 29, 2015 at 4:29 pm

    It looks delicious Jen, I love rocket leaves, my kids not so much that is probably why I don’t use it often enough…. lovely recipe.
    Margot @ Coffee & Vanilla recently posted…Home-made Chunky Basil & Roasted Almond PestoMy Profile