The Cottage Smallholder

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Coriander and lime juice pesto recipe – inspired by Bill Granger

corianderOur old friend Richard introduced us to Bill Granger. We didn’t actually meet Bill but tasted his recipes and were instantly drawn to his books.

Seductive photography and great copy. Sometimes Bill hovers behind a dish, looking calm and relaxed with just the right amount of sun. There is never a hint of a chilly English winter – it’s Australia after all and Bill doesn’t need to pull on a double knit.

These are the perfect books to turn to if the weather is too warm for wintry food but too brisk for a chilled gazpacho.

We recently discovered that houmous, topped with a light pesto is an excellent combination. This morning the sunny day inspired me to run up this houmous recipe from Joanna’s Food. It took ten minutes. I found the remains of a jar of really delicate Italian pesto in the far reaches of the fridge.

For my solo lunch I made delicious, layered oatcakes (Mike’s invention, he uses his ‘egg box’ crackers). Cottage cheese, houmous, thinly sliced tomato topped with a half teaspoonful of pesto.

Driving back from Saffron Walden this evening I had a brainwave. There’s a large jug of coriander sitting on the kitchen windowsill. Why not turn it into an amazing coriander pesto?

Imagining the wings of Escoffier brush Jalopy’s windscreen I thundered back ready to share my inspiration with the world.
“If this works it’ll be great with chicken, fish, baked peppers and as a topping for houmous or even soup!”

A tremulous step onto the internet showed me that over three hundred thousand people had already discovered the idea. I skimmed though a few recipes for combinations of ingredients and my head whirred. Finally I found this recipe from Bill Granger – it uses cashews rather than pine kernels so it instantly appealed as I bought some on whim a couple of weeks ago.

I played with his recipe. Used the top half of the stalks as well as the leaves, dropped the chilli pepper, added more lime juice and olive oil and finally added a small amount of parmesan cheese. I am delighted with the result. Summery flavours and so enticing that I’ve had to put it away in the fridge, out of easy reach. My version is below.

Coriander and lime juice pesto recipe (inspired by Bill Granger)


  • 60 g fresh coriander (cilantro) leaves and the top half of the stalks
  • 80 g unsalted cashew nuts, lightly toasted and roughly chopped
  • 10g of garlic chopped
  • 15g of grated fresh ginger
  • 6-8 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons of fresh lime juice
  • 25g of finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


Place the coriander, garlic, cashews ginger and parmesan in the food processor and blend. With the motor still running drizzle the lime juice and enough olive oil to give a smooth consistency. Add a little salt and lashings of ground black pepper. Store in the fridge with a little olive oil on the surface to keep it fresh.

  Leave a reply


  1. This coriander pesto is sooo delicious, thank you very much for it. I’ve made it so many times since doing exactly as you described (had large bunch coriander, wondered if it made nice pesto etc.) and eventually finding your recipe. Just finished a freshly made portion, plenty left for the fridge 😛 very happy bunny.

  2. Helen T

    Really love this recipe and can’t wait to try it. Sounds perfect for a summer supper, bit of a lime addict!

  3. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Joanna

    I loved your houmous and the tub is still in Mike’s fridge. Hopefully he is savouring it on his return from Cannes.

    I missed it this evening.

  4. Thanks for the link, Fiona, and glad you liked it. One of my favourite combinations is lamb chops with hummus (I’m practising my spelling!) … some pesto with that would be seriously good, any flavour of herb would do I think


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