Low FODMAP watercress and walnut pesto
Easy delicious low FODMAP watercress pesto
Low FODMAP watercress pesto

The most delicious low FODMAP watercress pesto. A relatively new addition to the ‘things I like to spread on toast’ (the toast pictured here being Naomi Devlin’s chestnut and oat loaf, from her cookbook, River Cottage Gluten Free – buy it if you haven’t already!).

Whether it’s for breakfast, lunch or dinner, pesto has become a versatile, reliable meal in our flat during the months of July and August. As the days and hours have blurred into one long, weird, crazy stretch of time during lockdown and beyond, whipping up a batch of pesto is a comfort we’ve been coming back to time and time again. We’ve been loving basil and pine nut, spinach and almond and this low FODMAP watercress pesto with walnuts.

FODMAP friendly watercress pesto

I was very kindly sent over 1kg, yes 1kg, of watercress from The Watercress Company a few weeks back. Seasonal, crisp, green stems and leaves peered back at me from inside their plastic free pouches inside their wooden box and I couldn’t wait to munch it. We made a FODMAP friendly (ish – peas are higher FODMAP) watercress soup with beef stock and potatoes and peas and sour cream and it was amazing. We gave bunches to the neighbours in the flat below us in return for pizza that they had kindly given Rob the month before in our shared garden AND we made a triple batch of pesto.

So quick and easy to make, this pesto is punchy, zesty and something totally different to have with eggs on toast, spread on crackers with some tomatoes or just eat with a spoon. You can also freeze any leftovers, wrapping the pesto tightly in a parchment paper log and then cutting off any slices as you need them. Simply defrost in the fridge or warm through in a pan to stir through ribbons of gluten free pasta.

10 minutes
Serves - makes one big batch


150g watercress
1 tablespoon garlic infused oil
100g walnuts
Zest and juice of 1/2 a lemon
50g parmesan cheese (or a veggie hard cheese)
50ml olive oil
Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper


Wash and roughly chop the watercress, then place it in the bowl of a food processor along with the garlic infused oil, walnuts, the zest and juice of half a lemon and the parmesan cheese. Pulse to combine into a chunky paste.

Season well, then slowly drizzle in the oil, pulsing until smooth. Store any pesto you might use in the next day or two, refrigerated, under a thin film of olive oil. I also love to freeze any leftovers, wrapping it tightly in a parchment paper log and cutting off slices as I need them.