WHB #52: Rosemary Pesto

This article is part of a larger event, “My Favourite Herb“, hosted by Kalyn’s Kitchen (as a part of the Weekend Herb Blogging series of events). The idea this time around is for me to create a post about my favorite herb with reasons for why, and then display my “best” recipe for it. As Kalyn says, the recipe must be the “best of the best”. That’s a lot of pressure!

Rosemary Pesto Recipe

I have selected Rosemary as my herb of choice. There’s something amazing about this hardy evergreen shrub. It is very easy to grow, and is the first one I started with, around 10 years ago. The same plant is still alive in my garden today, having been transplanted from pot to ground. One sprig of this is enough to transform lamb in water into a stew with a delicious pine scented sauce.

How on Earth can I create the “best” recipe for this herb? Well, to justify my choice, it had to be one which showcased the herb itself – simply creating a lamb recipe with the Rosemary hidden within is not enough. I’ve chosen a Pesto made with Rosemary, as it allows the flavour of the Rosemary to take centre stage above all else, in a simple and uncomplicated way.

Traditionally a Pesto is created with Basil, Garlic, Pine Nuts, Parmesan and Olive Oil. I’ve tried to keep this recipe as close to that original one as I can, however didn’t feel Basil was appropriate – it just wouldn’t work with the Rosemary. Since Rosemary is a very woody herb, it still needed a leafy companion to make this Pesto work. After a little deliberation, I chose Rosemary’s cousin Mint, which works in harmony without overshadowing it’s companion. Mint and Rosemary are both well known as accompaniments to Lamb, and work well together.

I hope you agree with me that this is a simple yet elegant sauce, which highlights the flavours of Rosemary. It is delicious served alongside Lamb in almost any form.

Rosemary Pesto - WHB #52

Rosemary Pesto Recipe – Ingredients

  1. 30g (1 oz) Chopped Rosemary Leaves
  2. 1 Handful Mint Leaves
  3. 2 Cloves of Garlic
  4. 40ml (1.35 fl. oz) Olive Oil
  5. 3 tbsp Pine Nuts (or Walnuts, which are cheaper)
  6. 50g (1.75 oz) Grated Parmesan Cheese

Rosemary Pesto Recipe – Method

  • Start a food processor on a medium speed. Add the nuts and the garlic and process until finely chopped.
  • Add Mint, Rosemary, and Parmesan to the mixture. Blitz together until roughly combined.
  • Trickle olive oil into the mixture while still processing, scraping the sides to allow all to be combined. Stop when smooth but not pureed.

And to serve…

Place alongside simply grilled lamb cutlets, or on top of grilled bread. Enjoy!