Red Pepper and Walnut Pesto

Do you ever find that dinner is a battleground? It often comes to dinner and I am wondering why the children aren’t grateful for the food I have lovingly prepared them. There are some evenings when I just take the path of least resistance and end up feeding the children pesto pasta even if they have already had it once in the week as it is a crowd pleaser in his house.

Now we have made pesto several times with the kids, but always the traditional basil and pine nut pesto. Since the children have decided they also like red pesto, I thought we would try and make some with a jar of red peppers I had lurking in the pantry. We added some walnuts and fresh rosemary from our garden – yes the rosemary bush seems to be taking over again. Red pesto generally has a sweeter taste than its green counterpart, so if your kids haven’t tried pesto, it is a good one with which to introduce its flavour and texture.

Atticus chopped the peppers with a table knife, but Ophelia decided that using her hands to tear them apart was preferable to trying to use the knife in this instance.  I wasn’t going to complain as she was doing a really good job this way and the result was the same.

The children enjoyed this pesto with pasta, but also as the sauce on tortilla wraps for homemade pizzas. I definitely love how versatile pesto is. In all honesty, both Atticus and Ophelia would have eaten it out of the jar with a spoon had the opportunity arisen!


  • 1 jar roasted red peppers, drained weight 360g
  • 40g walnuts
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 30g grated parmesan
  • 125ml olive oil
  • 2 large sprigs of fresh rosemary


  1. Drain the red peppers and chop with a table knife of tear into smaller pieces and place in the food processor.
  2. Gently bash the garlic cloves with a wooden spoon or rolling pin to loosen the skin and peel it off and add to the food processor.
  3. Put the cheese and olive oil into the food processor.
  4. Pull the rosemary leaves off the stalks and add to the food processor.
  5. Blitz until smooth.
  6. Place in a container and keep refrigerated until ready to use.

We think homemade pesto definitely tastes nicer than the shop bought stuff. Making this saved me from having to buy pesto in my shop this week. However, as it is homemade, it does have a shorter shelf life, think a week compared to the two the shop bought brands recommend. It didn’t survive a whole week in this house though!

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