Oregano Pesto?? Vegan Pesto??? You better believe it!

I did an experiment yesterday; I wanted to know whether I could make vegan oregano pesto, and whether coriander pesto would be remotely tasty.

Ingredients for Oregano Pesto:

1. A tablespoon of dried oregano (can use fresh, in which case you don’t need the boiling water).

dried coriander (cilantro, left) and oregano (right).
dried coriander (cilantro, left) and oregano (right).

2. A teaspoon of boiling water.

3. Half a tablespoon of olive oil.

4. A tablespoon of hazelnuts.

hazelnuts ready for making pesto

5. Half a tablespoon of walnuts.


You will need a (hand) blender for the nuts.


1. Put the oregano in a cup.

2. Add hot water to the oregano to rehydrate it (if using fresh oregano, skip this).

3. Crush the hazelnuts and walnuts with the blender.

4. Add the nuts to the oregano and mix in with the olive oil.

Before I added the garlic and walnuts.
Before I added the garlic and walnuts.

5. Add a sprinkle of garlic to bring out the flavour.

6. Leave to stand until the oregano has softened.

7. Mix about a tablespoon into a bowl of pasta.  Mmmmm….

This was very delicious.
Oregano pesto over spaghetti with peanuts sprinkled on top.  Very delicious.

This oregano one was very, very tasty with my pasta yesterday!  You could substitute basil for the oregano if you wanted a more traditional pesto and I think that would be just as tasty, maybe fresh herbs would add a less strong flavor – a little of this went a long way!

I made some cilantro/coriander (they’re the same herb) pesto (same method, no garlic, use cilantro instead of oregano) and I had a little taste of that and I’m not sure it’s as nice as the oregano one, but I wondered if it was the cilantro I’d bought because it seemed to have taken on the odor from the packaging it was in.  It was my first time not buying a glass jar of dried herb so it didn’t occur to me that this may happen, but the whole lot tasted a little plasticky.  I will try again with fresh cilantro/coriander when I next get any because I know it has a very delicate flavor.  There was supposed to be some growing in the garden but it came up as parsley even though the packet said coriander!!!!

I didn’t use pine nuts (which is traditionally used in pesto) as I think they’re hideously expensive and the quality available has gone right downhill in the past few years, but hazelnuts and walnuts seemed to add a really nice taste to the oregano one.  I also sprinkled my pasta with a handful of peanuts for extra protein.

Do you have a good vegan pesto recipe to share?  Link to it in the comments!


5 responses to “Oregano Pesto?? Vegan Pesto??? You better believe it!”

  1. In Trapani pesto is made with almonds and fresh mint (and cherry tomatoes) instead of the better known (Genovese) basil and pine nuts, say (from memory)

    – a handful of fresh mint
    – around 1-2 tbs blanched almonds
    – 4-6 cherry tomatoes, halved
    – 1 small garlic clove
    – pecorino
    – olive oil

    – Crush the mint, garlic and almonds in a mortar
    – tear in the tomatoes and lightly crush
    – add a few flags of olive oil and a small handful of grated pecorino
    – meanwhile cook the spaghetti to the pack instruction and toss with the pesto

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That sounds very posh! What is pecorino?


  2. It’s a hard sheep’s cheese, similar to Parmesan but cheaper and more commonly used in other regions

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ah peperoncino. (I need to get out more)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I found out it’s called pimiento (pimento?? unsure of spelling). That’s what I was thinking of!


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