Parsley and Mint Pesto with Cherry Tomatoes

Lady Claire Macdonald’s Parsley and Mint Pesto with Cherry Tomatoes served on Nairn’s OatcakesThis just tastes of Summer, whatever the weather is doing! We are used to pesto being made with basil, but pesto can be made using any herb, or herb combination, as in this recipe. In addition, the nutritional value is high, due to the uncooked parsley, rich in Vitamin C and iron.

This recipe is a truly healthy lunch when enjoyed with oatcakes! But equally important – it tastes delicious. And the flavours of the pesto and the sweet cherry tomatoes are very complimentary. This pesto and tomato topping is suitable to be enjoyed at any time of day – for lunch, teatime, or supper. Although you can use any of the range of Nairn’s oatcakes for this pesto, my favourite are the Cheese Oatcakes. Boasting a strong cheese flavour and packed full of nutritious goodness, the Nairn’s Cheese Oatcakes look so pretty, too, withthe halved cherry tomatoes sitting on the vivid green pesto! This really is a fresh summer lunch to inspire and deliver a naturally energising boost.

A pesto traditionally contains sheepsmilk cheese and pine nuts. I don’t include nuts in thispesto recipe, and I substitute some soft cheese for the sheepsmilk cheese, to make it more spreadable.



This makes enough to spread 12 oatcakes.

4 oz. /120g parsley, tough stalks discarded

2 oz. / 50g mint leaves, stripped from the tough stalks

Finely grated rind of 1 lemon

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 level teaspoon caster sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, about 10 grinds of black pepper

3 tablespoons olive oil

200g soft cheese

18 cherry tomatoes, washed and dried then each cut in half

12 sprigs of basil, to garnish


  1. Put the herbs, grated lemon rind, caster sugar, salt and black pepper into a food processor and whiz. Add the olive oil as it whizzes, then add the soft cheese and lemon juice and whiz until it is thoroughly blended as part of the pesto.
  2. Scrape the pesto into a bowl, cover with Clingfilm and store in the fridge until you are ready to assemble the oatcakes.
  3. To assemble, spread the pesto on each of your 12 oatcakes. Put 3 cherry tomato halves on each.

To serve: Put a tiny basil leaf on the centre of each oatcake.


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