Watercress pesto

Watercress pesto
  • Serves icon Makes enough for 400g pasta
  • Time icon Ready in 10 mins

We’ve used a mixture of watercress and basil in this pesto recipe for a lighter, fresher taste. Stir through pasta or keep stored in the fridge.

It’s a quick and easy recipe that really shows off the colour and flavour of fresh watercress. Stir through pasta, spread on crostini or serve as a dip with crudité.

Want something else? Click here for lots more homemade pesto recipes including a mint, hazelnut and kale versions.


  • 100g bag of watercress
  • Handful of fresh basil leaves
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 75g grated pecorino cheese
  • 5-6 tbsp olive oil
  • Grated zest and juice of ½ lemon
  • 50g toasted hazelnuts
  • Generous pinch each of salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. In the small bowl of a food processor whizz together the watercress, basil leaves, garlic, pecorino, 
olive oil, the grated zest and juice of ½ lemon, toasted hazelnuts and a generous pinch each of salt and freshly ground black pepper (or finely chop the watercress by hand, then 
pound all the ingredients in a pestle 
and mortar).
  2. Stir into pasta for a quick supper or spread on crostini and top 
with smoked salmon for a smart nibble.


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