Coriander-walnut pesto

Once I’d tasted a sandwich of pesto, mozarella cheese, caramellised onion and lettuce at Escape when I’d gone there for a movie and ever since I’ve wanted to make pesto and turn it into a filling for sandwich. Now, I’m not exaggerating when I say I just couldn’t find fresh basil in Chennai, fed up of the search I decided to use coriander instead. I mean, how different can it get? And then I decided to replace the pinenuts with some walnuts just to match the earthy tone of the fresh coriander leaves.
Here goes..
1 bunch of coriander, chopped roughly
1/2 cup of broken walnuts
Lots of olive oil
Salt to taste
Parmesan cheese, grated
Throw them all into a mixie and blitz until you have a green, silky smooth paste. Pour olive oil gradually into it to adjust the texture. Store in airtight jar for up to 10 days in the fridge. 
So for tea this evening, I spread the fresh pesto on slices of whole wheat bread, added some chopped black olives and cheese. I sprinkled some dried mixed herbs over this and closed it with another slice of the bread and grilled in the oven for just about five minutes. What you get is a crust, cheesy gooey sandwich! Yumm!


  • mitali August 16, 2011 at 9:36 pm

    Aha! That sounds fun and a piece of cake too. Though I'd know only when I get down to actually making it. But if it's as simple as it sounds then I am more than looking forward to making it! Nice blog by the way!

  • Julie August 16, 2011 at 10:22 pm

    I have tried looking for basil too… to use in pasta recipes… but, impossible to find. Will try this coriander-replacement πŸ˜‰ seems simple and yum πŸ™‚

  • Renuka August 16, 2011 at 11:16 pm

    Thanks Mitali! It is actually fun to make.. hardly any chopping involved, which is almost always my weak point. The best part is that this goes with anything – rice, pasta and bread!

  • Renuka August 16, 2011 at 11:18 pm

    Julie.. I've tried using dried basil that you get in the supermarkets, but it isn't anywhere near as authentic. You can buy basil pesto too, Crust at Ashara in RA Puram has it for a decent rate. But nothing beats making your own πŸ™‚

  • Julie August 21, 2011 at 9:49 pm

    I tried this recipe πŸ™‚ But replaced the walnuts with almonds n pista… came out yummm… and Santhosh loved it too… we had it for breakfast mixed with pasta πŸ™‚

  • Renuka September 5, 2011 at 12:53 am

    Good to hear Julie πŸ™‚ btw, if ur lucky, fresh basil is available at Amma Naana but you have to go quick to grab it.. literally flies off the shelves!!

  • Santhosh Zachariah Abraham October 5, 2011 at 5:32 am

    Hey Renuka,
    Innovative!!! Anisha and I are def going to try it out. But just a heads up…if you need anything in terms of fresh herbs and greens there is this place in T Nagar where i believe a person like you will go ballistic and probably blow your entire month's pay check. The number and address is with my cousin will ask him and send it across to you. The reason I remember it is cause like you I love grocery shopping and this place blew my mind.
    PS: it’s not a fancy super market or anything… on the outside it looks like your regular vegetable store.


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