Rocket Pesto – Baby led weaning friendly

imageI’ve decided that it’s time Evie branched out from steamed broccoli and carrots to something a bit more adventurous.

Bertie’s favourite food is pesto and pasta,  so I thought I’d make a Evie friendly version with no nasties or preservatives.  I bought a basil plant from the shop but I couldn’t bring myself to strip it of its leaves just to make pesto. So I moved to Plan B; use rocket instead.  I’ve done this before and it works really well.

Here is my recipe which I’ve adapted from Jamie Oliver’s version.


2 1/2 handfuls of rocket

1 large garlic clove

Large handful of pine nuts

Juice of half a lemon

Small handful of parmesan cheese (grated)

Olive oil


Put the rocket, garlic and some of the olive oil into a food processor and pulse.

Once the rocket looks like it’s all chopped up, add the pine nuts (and if you can be bothered, toast them beforehand) and lemon juice.

Turn the food processor on and pour olive oil in until it looks like what you consider pesto. At a rough guess I’d say 125ml.  Once this is done, add the parmesan and mix.  Make sure that the parmesan is grated before, it really doesn’t work if you put chunks into the food processor! All you end up with is mashed rocket and bits of cheese. Take this from someone who may, or may not, have first hand knowledge!

I haven’t added salt because it’s for a weaning baby but once it’s tossed into pasta I add some with pepper to mine for taste. It’s amazing.  Evie loved my attempt but then she takes after her mother and eats everything, however Mr ‘I don’t like kidney beans because it’s Wednesday’ refused, saying “I don’t like it” without so much as putting a bit to his lips.  Evie gobbled hers over penne pasta, mainly sucking the pesto off thus making it a success in my book.

I have rocket growing in the garden, I’m hoping it’ll grow so we’ll be eating it throughout the summer due to the amount it produces and how easy it is to make.  If I could get Bertie to eat it this pesto, it would be a great family meal. I have loads left so I’ll keep trying!

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