A Rough Toasted Walnut and Parsley Pesto

Walnut and parsley pesto on bread with roasted cherry tomatoes.

Walnut and parsley pesto on bread with roasted cherry tomatoes.

Sometimes it’s important to trust the instincts. I was in the process of making pesto and stopped short of grinding it into a paste. I wanted something slightly more toothsome, and this did the trick. This is a pesto that may be made in a food processor, because it is only very roughly chopped. The final product should be ground down to the consistency of bulgur wheat or couscous and no more fine. It looks a lot like tabouli when it’s finished – so I suppose it belongs somewhere in between a paste and a salad. The nuts will still have some crunch and the parsley squeaks between the teeth. It’s delicious just on bread, or heavenly on a chunky pasta like penne.


100g toasted walnuts (or Brazil nuts for extra crunch)

a large bunch of flat leaf parsley

2 cloves garlic

100g Pecorino Romano (Parmesan is fine too)

just enough extra virgin olive oil to moisten

sea salt to taste


Toast the nuts in a dry pan on the stovetop until lightly coloured. Allow to cool.

Grind the nuts with the garlic in a food processor, just long enough to mix them, then add the cheese and then the parsley in succession. Add just enough olive oil to keep the whole thing lubricated. And add a bit of wine to keep you lubricated as well.

I’ll tag this as an Italian recipe, but it’s really from London, my kitchen in particular. How much more local can you get?


About timwaterman

I am a landscape architect, urbanist, writer, and lecturer based in London.

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