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Radicchio and hazelnut pesto

radicchio and hazelnut pesto

A perfectly seasonal recipe for November.

Endives, chicories and radicchio are all at their peak as we move from Autumn to Winter - their bitterness offset here with the creamy sweetness of fresh hazelnuts and the sharpness of new season lemons.

You can use the pesto as a pasta sauce or dilute it a little bit and add as a dressing for a plate of beans.



  • Half a radicchio head (or the discarded leaves from making a salad) chopped
  • 80 g hazelnuts
  • Olive oil - about 100 ml
  • Juice of a lemon (if making the bean salad zest the lemon and use to scatter over the top of the salad)
  • Salt to taste

To make pesto put the radicchio leaves and hazelnuts in a food processor and pulse to combine well.

Carefully add in the lemon juice, pulsing and then put motor on and slowly add in olive oil until it becomes the right consistency, something quite thick that you can spoon into a jar.

This can be stored in a sterilised jar in the fridge for a couple of weeks.

Spread it on sandwiches, mix into pasta. It also adds a lovely earthy, slightly smoky base to soups, just stir in at the end.

Bean salad

  • Radicchio pesto - 1 tablespoon
  • Canellini beans (2 tins or cooked from scratch)
  • Juice and zest of an organic lemon
  • Olive oil, about 3 tablespoons
  • Handful of finely chopped hazelnuts


Mix the pesto, lemon juice and oil together to a salad dressing consistency.

Warm beans, drain and then pour over the dressing, letting it soak in as the beans cool.

Sprinkle with lemon zest and hazelnuts.

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Comments: 3 (Add)

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Andrea Thomas

Jane, thank you for the link. I luv pesto's but never thot of using Radicchio. It's always been basil with other nuts. friends here who find pine nuts horribly expensive use walnuts, so i figure any nut will to go find the radicchio as my organic veg box i think is finished with it.....


In reply to Andrea Thomas
I think that there are lots of nuts that can be used - I particularly like hazelnuts at this time of year because we have them in the garden (the only nut we can grow and I have to race the mice for them). Walnuts and kale make a very good pesto too; J x

Andrea Thomas

In reply to SnapdragonJane
Made it exactly the same as i too love hazelnuts altho not fortunate enough to even know where there is a tree here. Had it twice. Will definitely do it again changing the nut and will try the kale as well. Again thank you.

Snapdragon social

This week’s Friday film is about a trip to London, a tour of the Chelsea Physic garden and filling my home with flowers when I got home. 
If you are interested you know where to find it 🎥
These snowdrops are temporarily holidaying in a cup on my bedroom windowsill - looking out at their rather battered friends outside. 
I’m planning a new part of the garden at the moment and these will be part of a spreading about of the spring bulbs.

There is a point when the sun slants in and all the dried seed heads which have decorated the house over winter suddenly look dusty and dull.
I have a visceral need to be surrounded by things that are growing and green.
There is a video over on YouTube about planting up winter aconites and spring bulbs - I have these on my desk at the moment and every now and again there is a wonderful waft of scent reaches me.
For Studio Clubbers there is now a whole module on planting up bulbs indoors in the Fire and Frost course.  What varieties are best, where to get them, how to treat them and answers to a whole load of questions.
When my daughters were tiny I made their clothes - bright colourwork jumpers, patchwork dungarees, layer upon layer of pattern. 
Then - ridiculously early it seemed to me - they wanted to choose their own outfits and quickly favoured whatever was fashionable, only available from mainstream shops and my needles were no longer needed. 
I’m now delighted that two decades on I’m back in action. This is the start of a mend - on my eldest daughter's denim jumpsuit.  The under arm seam was ripped so I'm transforming it with linen flowers.
You can see more of it in last week's Studio Vlog on YouTube . . 
I love the idea that the mending will make the jumpsuit into something completely different. That it is as bright and clashing as her toddler clothes. 
I’ve also been asked for mittens . . .
Today’s Friday letter is all about two steps I took last year which really helped with feelings of being overwhelmed. 
Today’s Friday film is about a walk by Loch Lomond and just sitting and taking it all in and how that helps manage symptoms of my autoimmune disease. 
If you want to know more about either (or both) you can find the details up in my link.

I’ve been in London for a couple of days - to see @thenotgodcomplex perform at The Vaults - now heading back North to see @marychapincarpenter and @karinepolwart at Celtic Connections. 💚
This photo is from last year - we are still a week or two away from full blooms.
But yesterday, lying on my front in the sodden grass and filming snowdrops, the soundtrack was birds in the birch tree above me.
I still have no water in the Studio. 

On Thursday when I walked up to the kitchen to make a coffee, the sun was streaming into the kitchen.
I can't properly express how happy that makes me. 
Beauty in the every day. 
Obviously I'm well past tidying up for photos.
I wonder if it is just when the light is least that I notice it most.  The shadow of birch leaves on our bed as I passed to top up the bird feeders.
Loch Lomond is high at the moment - the beaches gone, the stepping stones to cross burns under water. 
Sitting, well wrapped up, leaning against a tree on the top path - listening to the waves and watching a cormorant dive - it felt like the sea.


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At Snapdragon Life I help bring the changing seasons into your daily life, helping you slow down, so that you can experience increased well being, calm and creativity.

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