Spekboom Pesto

Spekboom is fast becoming one of my favourite vegetables – or is that herb?  I have grown this indigenous plant for years, but never really Spekboom pesto Barefoot Herbsused it as food or even as a medicine.  I ate pickled spekboom at a restaurant recently, and now I’m hooked. Pickled, fresh, chutney and in soup – it works and is so versatile.   This is a pesto recipe – don’t expect a basil pesto taste, it’s nothing like that – but very tasty.  I love it with cream cheese as it has a bit of a tang.



Spekboom Pesto

Indigenous plant lovers, this one's for you! Actually it's really for everyone, but it is using one of South Africa's more internationally famous plants. This is a very juicy pesto and can be used in pretty much the same ways as any other type. Add to pasta, toss with roast vegetables, eat as a dip or, my favourite, with cream cheese and crackers. Simple but delicious. Oh yes, another benefit is that this plant is acidic during the sunny days and sweeter in the evening when the weather cools down. Two versions from one amazing plant. Read more about the medicinal benefits here
Course Appetizer, Oils, vinegars, sauces
Diet Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword pesto, Spekboom
Prep Time 10 minutes


  • 1 cup Fresh leaves, removed from stem and rinsed
  • 2 Garlic cloves, roughly chopped Or use 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup Almonds or cashews
  • 1/2 cup Olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp Parmesan cheese Replace with nutritional yeast for vegans
  • 1 Squeeze Lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Blend all of the ingredients together in a food processor, liquidizer, coffee grinder, or a pestle and mortar
  • If you are not serving it immediately, place in a bowl and cover with a small amount of olive oil to prevent browning.
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