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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.