Spring the in the garden means an excess of parsley, and if your parsley patch is looking anything like mine you’ll be dying for easy and healthy recipes to use it in. This homemade parsley pesto with hemp seeds and lemon is it! It’s perfect as a dip, on a sandwich or toast, mixed through noodles for an almost instant lunch as served on a grazing platter.
I love basil pesto. It has to be one of the most flavoursome and versatile dips out there but basil can be a real pain to grow (I’m looking at you, snails) and expensive to buy. Parsley, on the other hand, grows like a weed. Turns out parsley pesto is super delicious and for me, I feel like I have no reason to go and buy basil again.
Ingredients for easy parsley pesto
- Continental parsley. Parsley is so abundant in spring! This recipe turns a whole bunch into something delicious super easy.
- Hemp seeds. I love adding hemp seeds into everything. Nutritionally they pack a punch, and they do not require activation to remove anti-nutrients. I talk more about activating seeds and anti nutrients in this post here.
- Lemon zest and juice. Lemon balances out parsleys herbaceous quality and is a great Spring ingredient
- Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO). Not all oils are created equally. Cold pressed extra virgin oils are much different to industrial processed seed oils, and EVOO can’t be substituted for another type of oil- the taste and health benefits of EVOO are a must for this recipe.
- Parmesan cheese. You can use vegan parmesan or a sharp cows parmesan. This is the dairy free parmesan I use and love.
- Garlic. You can’t have pesto with garlic.
- Salt and freshly cracked black pepper. The usuals.
The method for this vegan parsley pesto is very simple;
First, add the parsley leaves, hemp seeds and lemon zest to a food processor. Pulse until finely chopped. You want small, visible chunks of herbs present.
Next, add the finely grated parmesan and garlic. Pulse about 6-12 times or until well combined.
Step 3 is to stream in the olive oil and lemon juice while the food processor is running. As soon as the liquid has been added turn off the food processor and transfer the pesto to a bowl.
To finish stir through the salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Ways to serve homemade parsley pesto
- Crunchy sourdough toast with fresh tomato, sprouts and sauerkraut.
- As a dip with veggie sticks or crackers
- As a spread in a salad sandwich
- Used to create a pesto pizza with roast tomato or veggies
- Stirred through freshly cooked spaghetti or noodles to create quick and easy vegan pesto pasta
- Create a roast vegetables and pesto nourish bowl
The health benefits of hemp seeds
In Australia hemp seeds have been legalised as a food for a few years now and ever since people are going crazy for hemp. Hemp seeds have a delicious subtle nutty flavour and delicate soft texture, making them easily used in many recipes (and perfect for our hemp parsley pesto).
This is why you want to add hemp to your diet:
- Hemp seeds are high in whole food, plant based fat (omega 3, 6 and 9) which is beneficial for brain health.
- They have a balanced omega fatty acid profile
- They are a great source of magnesium. Magnesium is a key micronutrient for regulating stress
- Hemp seeds are high in plant based protein and amino acids
- While most nuts and seeds benefit from activation to remove micronutrients, hemp seeds do not require this process to increase nutrient bioavailability.
Looking for more healthy vegan recipes? Try:
- Honey oat banana muffins
- Easy baked vegan green patties. Grain free.
- Tomato pesto pasta bake
- Creamy vegan tomato basil soup with croutons
We hope you enjoy this Homemade parsley pesto recipe as much as we do and encourage your questions and comments below.Print
Homemade parsley pesto with hemp seeds. This is a delicious spin on the classic Italian dip. Nutritious, delicious and very versatile.
2 cups firmly packed continental parsley leaves
1/2 cup hemp hearts
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 clove garlic
100g parmesan cheese (vegan or dairy) finely grated
1/3–1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4– 1/2 tsp fine salt
1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
- If you have not done so already, wash your parsley and remove the leaves from the stem. Discard stems, or place in the freezer to use in a homemade stock.
- Add parsley, hemp and lemon zest to food processor. Pulse until the herbs are well chopped- you want them to look finely chopped but not at all pureed.
- Add garlic and parmesan and pulse about 8 times until well incorporated.
- With the food processor running stream in lemon juice and olive oil. I use the full 1/2 cup olive oil for a more liquid pesto, however you can use less if you prefer a thicker dip-like consistency. As soon as the liquid has been added turn off the food processor.
- Remove the lid and blade from the food processor. Add 1/4 tsp salt and black pepper and stir to combine. Taste, adding extra salt if you prefer. Transfer to a container and store in the fridge.
Pesto is delicious served as a dip or mixed through pasta for a quick and easy dinner. Refer to the blog post above for more serving suggestions.
Pesto can be stored in the fridge for up to 5-7 days. It is freezer friendly (up to 6 months) however it is best enjoyed without freezing.
You can increase the life of pesto in the fridge by using an olive oil seal. To do so, pack pesto into a very clean glass jar. Make sure the top of the pesto is a very even layer and no pesto is on the sides of the jar above this line. Add a layer of olive oil (about 1-2 cm thick) on top of the pesto and store in the fridge. As long as the pesto is sitting completely below the olive oil line is will be spared from spoiling. You can store pesto this way for 2-3 weeks.
Keywords: Pesto, pesto pasta, vegan meals