Peashoot Pesto

Pesto made with tender pea-shoots, walnuts and cashews

There are several pesto posts on my blog. Although it started with basil being the herb of choice, I started experimenting with various locally available herbs. Another favourite happens to be coriander which produces a light-coloured pesto like this one in the picture.

I love pea shoots but it’s not often that you get them. And even if you do, the tendrils tend to be very rough and one ends up discarding a whole lot of them. The solution was to grow one’s own but with the sparrow population in our vicinity growing by leaps and bounds, even the wire mesh that I used as a barrier didn’t keep them fully out. The only thing left was to grow them indoors. And that’s what I started doing recently.

Freshly-picked tender pea shoots

I have two trays filled with potting mix sitting in a sunny spot in my kitchen. I used the first batch yesterday. It was lovely to be able to use them. Particularly when the tendrils were still soft. Nothing needed to be discarded. Just a thorough rinse under running water was enough for the next stage!


  • A bunch of tender pea-shoots
  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • Freshly-ground black pepper, as per taste
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • A handful of cashews
  • Extra virgin olive oil

I don’t use cheese in my pesto. When I first started making pesto, Parmesan wasn’t even available in our city. Now even if it is available, me and my boys are accustomed to the taste without cheese.


Wash the pea shoots and drain in a colander. Lightly toast the nuts in a pan on the stove till they give out a nutty aroma. Set aside.

After the nuts cool down slightly, blitz them. Add the rest of the ingredients and blitz again till you get the consistency you like. For this I use the small jar of my trusted mixer/grinder. No measurement is given for the oil. It’s more by the eye. You just know. 🙂

Pasta with pea-shoot pesto and a chunk of roasted pork

I teamed up the pesto with penne and chunks of oven-roasted pork. And for someone who loves edible flower garnishes, these brassica blooms were the answer!

Other pesto-related recipes on my blog.

Almond and basil pesto

Pesto bread rolls

Braided Pesto Bread

Pesto Muffins

Braided Bread, Pesto & Labneh

Star Bread With Beetroot Pesto

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