Amy Chaplin’s easy pine nut sauce

11th April 2020

Don’t be deceived by the unassuming appearance of this sauce, it is delicious! I have replaced our weekly pesto sauce with this one.  It is quick, easy and any leftovers make a delicious salad dressing. Serve with homemade pasta, skillet roasted tomatoes and steamed greens.

~ sunlight and water drops~

easy pine nut sauce

Recipe from ‘Whole Food Cooking Every Day’ by Amy Chaplin.

Makes 1 cup. 

Serves 3 – 4


1 cup/120g raw pine nuts

6 Tbsp/65g olive oil

2 Tbsp/25g freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 tsp fine rock salt

to serve

½-portion homemade pasta

skillet charred tomato (see below)

steamed or sauteed greens

grated parmesan or pine nut parmesan


1.  Warm a skillet over medium heat for 2 minutes. Toss in the pine nuts, reduce heat to low, and toast, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes, or until fragrant and golden.

2.  Transfer to a mortar and pestle or mini food processor and add the olive oil, lemon juice, and salt.

3.  Use a pestle to crush the nuts and grind until a paste forms. Or, if you’re using a mini food processor, blend until smooth, scrape down the sides, and blend again.  Use immediately, or store the sauce in a glass jar in the fridge for up to a week. Optional to garnish with lemon zest.


  • Any leftovers can be used as a salad dressing the next day. When using as a salad dressing add a little honey and dilute with more olive oil and lemon.

to serve

skillet charred cherry tomatoes

Serves 2

Preparation 7 minutes


2 Tbsp olive or peanut oil

350g small cherry tomatoes

1 red bell pepper/135g, roughly chopped (optional)

One 5-cm sprig rosemary – leaves removed

½ tsp red chilli pepper flakes


1.   Place a medium skillet or wok over high heat, add oil, whole cherry tomatoes, bell pepper, and rosemary leaves, toss to coat in the oil. It is important to use a larger skillet to allow space for the tomatoes to cook without losing their shape. Don’t overcrowd the pan.

2.  Sautee for 5 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds, until charred in parts – don’t cook for too long, otherwise, the tomatoes will turn mushy.

3.  Remove from heat, stir in salt and chilli flakes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Serve with your favourite pasta!

walnut parsley pesto

22nd September 2017

parsley walnut pesto - 1

Within a day of moving into our new home, I planted a small herb garden just next to the back door, it contained coriander, parsley, sage, thyme, and all the essentials, plus 12 kale seedlings which I had been growing on the window sill in the old house. I am so glad I did as it’s been a vital addition to quick meals and those kale plants have been growing wild and wonderful. This is where the parsley came from. The main vegetable garden is quite a walk away from the house so it is helpful to have a small garden so close for emergencies.

This pesto is one I make weekly for pasta lunches for school and quick sandwiches for my young adults.  It goes nicely with a minestrone soup; a favourite with my daughter and part of easy dishes which she can prepare herself – recipe soon.

cosmo- vegetable garden - 1 (5)cosmo - 1cosmo- vegetable garden - 1 (4)

~ Cosmos (Coreopsideae )

~ Cosmos is a Greek word meaning harmony or balanced universe.

walnut pesto 2 - 1

walnut parsley pesto

Preparation 20 minutes

Makes 1½ cups

When a bit low on the essentials I change the recipe a bit, adding a mix of pine nuts and walnuts or basil and parsley – or whatever I have in the garden at the time.

Inspired by Gillian.


¾ cup/80g whole walnuts

2 big bunches/90g parsley – rinsed, bigger stems removed

½ cup olive oil

¼ tsp fine rock salt

⅛ tsp freshly ground pepper

¼ cup/20g grated parmesan

extra olive oil for sealing the pesto

to serve 

homemade pasta

a tray of roasted cherry tomatoes, red pepper, pumpkin with rosemary and sage

golden crusted brussels sprouts


1.   Preheat the oven 180C/350F.

2.  Place the whole walnuts on a tray and roast for 10 minutes.  Set aside to allow to cool.

3.  Wash the parsley, dry and remove the larger stems, place the leaves and smaller stems in a food processor with the ‘S’ blade attached, along with the walnuts, olive oil, salt and pepper.

4.  Blend until all are broken down – using a spatula to wipe down the sides.

5.  Add parmesan and blend until well incorporated – adding more oil if needed.

walnut parsley pesto - 1 (2)walnut parsley pesto - 2

5.  Store in a jar, with a layer of olive oil on top to exclude the air, refrigerate until needed, for up to two weeks.  Level the surface each time you use it, and recover the pesto with olive oil.  Delicious served with home-made pasta.

homemade pasta with pesto - 1

Goodness shared by Stacey

basil feta & pistachio pesto

27th May 2012

I love basil. And when I enjoy something, I tend to overdo its availability.  Rather than plant one plant every so often, I plant 4 or 5 at once.  So hence, I have 4 very large basil plants that are growing vigorously.  An earlier plant I let go to seed.  We picked off the brown seeds and spread them in a bowl that now sits on the kitchen table.  Every day, a little shake, and the seeds give off a wonderful aroma, almost lavender-like in its scent.  I must admit though the bowl has been getting some strange looks as it looks very much like some sort of mind-altering substance that requires some burning.  I do assure everyone that it is pure basil. Heady enough on its own power.

With basil leaves in abundance, I have created a variety of pestos over the last few weeks.  This one is by far my favourite.  Basil, rocket, feta, parmesan, pistachios, olive oil, a squeeze of lemon juice and pepper and salt to taste.  Simple, but very tasty.  Uses are endless. Tossed through pasta, a salad or roasted vegetables; dip for crackers; spread on Turkish bread with roasted capsicum strips and toasted;  a side for patties of choice……..and on and on.

basil feta & pistachio pesto


fresh basil leaves (from 2 large bunches)

2 handfuls rocket (arugula leaves)

250g feta

¼ cup fresh, grated parmesan

approx. ¼ cup extra-virgin cold-pressed olive oil

2 Tbsp pistachio nuts

a good squeeze of lemon juice

fresh cracked black pepper

sea salt

a sprinkling of dried chilli seeds/flakes (optional)


1.  Add ½ the basil, rocket, parmesan, olive oil and pistachios to a mini-processor (or a large one if suits) – process till all ingredients combined.

2.  Add remaining basil leaves and extra oil if needed to blend smoothly – process again.

3.  Add feta, lemon juice, pepper and salt – process again.

4.  Taste and adjust ingredients to taste. Store in a sealed glass jar in the fridge.

Goodness shared from Donna

mint & parsley pesto

28th February 2011

When a favourite recipe calls for set ingredients and one is not available, the best option is try something new.  Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. In this case, you can’t go too wrong with pesto and a mix of herbs.  My plan was to whip up a dill and parsley pesto to mix through roasted vegetables with crumbles of farm-fresh goat’s cheese.  A successful dish in the past.  Quick, easy and tasty.  My favourite type of cooking.  However, this was not to be.  A few sparse strands of dill left, not nearly enough for a pesto.  But, plenty of mint.

Equal quantities of fresh mint and parsley,

olive oil, pine nuts, freshly grated parmesan cheese, sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper.

mint & parsley pesto

Quantities above make a small bottle-size (as in the picture) and another bowl-size.  Halve if less required. Freezes well in an air-tight container.

Each time I make pesto, the quantities tend to vary, so taste along the way, until desired flavour results. This version has less oil than the Dill and Parsley Pesto and has more texture.

1.  Add half of the mint and parsley leaves to a mini-processor (gives a finer blend than a larger one). Then add half of each of the olive oil, pine nuts and parmesan.  Add salt and pepper, then give a couple of bursts, scraping down sides.

2.  Add remaining leaves and more oil if too dry.  Give a quick burst to process leaves.  Taste and add more cheese, pine nuts, oil, salt and pepper until desired taste and texture is achieved.  Be careful not to overprocess mixture as loses its vibrant colour.

Serving suggestions, perfect with roasted vegetables.  In a large ceramic dish, add small whole beetroot (halve if bigger), a handful of whole cherry tomatoes, chunks of sweet potatoes and/or any other vegetables of choice. Drizzle over olive oil, sea salt and fresh pepper and toss through.  Bake in a 200 degree Celsius preheated oven for about 45 minutes or until tender.  Stir vegetables half-way through.  Pour over pesto and crumble in goat’s cheese or fetta.  Toss through lightly.

Goodness shared from Donna

dill & parsley pesto

8th November 2009


Shopping for food can tell a lot about someone, from their spending habits, interests, family situation, health, etc.  I love nothing better than trawling through shopping aisles, delis, food shops waiting for new, exciting ingredients to pop out at me, or purchasing that ‘extra’ jar/bottle just in case I feel like making a particular dish.  I start out with a list, but invariably I am always ‘tempted’  by specials or some new, interesting ingredient.  I also do not plan my meals for the week.  What I cook depends solely on what I feel like that day, or it might be a particular new dish or ingredient I want to try.  Unfortunately, this habit also brings with it a very packed fridge, freezer and pantry, and then the ‘use-by’ date factor, which always leads to the wastage.

So, in the interests of saving money, time and the all-important catch-phrase of the moment – sustainable environment, I have decided to make do with what I have accumulated and what’s available in the garden, before making any unnecessary new purchases.

This brought me to today’s decision of ‘pesto’.  I had a favourite ‘fresh basil pesto’ that I would buy and stock a few tubs in my freezer, but, sadly I can no longer find this particular brand.  Rather than experimenting with new ready-made varieties which are quite expensive, compared to the cost of growing your own herbs, I decided to make my own, using herbs available in the garden.   Basil pesto – I could eliminate as I recently disposed of my plants due to woodiness and flowering.  Years ago, I discovered a dill and parsley version, which is also no longer available, so I decided to revisit this combo.  Very good with pasta, roasted kiphler potatoes or an assortment of roasted vegetables!  Any leftover, store in an airtight container in the fridge for a few days or in the freezer.


dill & parsley pesto


1 cup continental parsley, stalks removed, leaves only

½ cup fresh dill

2 Tbsp grated fresh parmesan cheese

¼ cup extra virgin cold pressed olive oil

2 Tbsp pine nuts

salt and pepper


1.  Add all ingredients to a food processor (I use a mini one) and process until combined and all dry ingredients are of a similar texture.  Add more oil if too dry.

2.  Serve tossed through pasta and roasted vegetables (beetroot, cherry tomatoes and pumpkin are a lovely mixture).  It is also perfect for vegetable lasagna.

Goodness shared from Donna

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