Courgetti with Hazelnut Pesto | Melissa Hemsley
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Courgetti with Hazelnut Pesto

Salads and Small Plates

Courgetti with Hazelnut Pesto





I’m a pro at using what you’ve got. Traditional pesto is made with pinenuts but I always change according to what nuts or seeds need using up at home. I had the very last hazelnuts to use up, ones I bought a few months ago to make a hazelnut choc butter. I’ve gone for basil here but use a mix of basil and parsley or basil and mint, if you like. Make sure you use the best olive oil you have available. This amount makes extra pesto so store in a sterile jar in the fridge, with a layer of oil up top, for up to a week. Toss the pesto with the courgetti just before serving. Extra-virgin olive oil can be bitter so just taste and if needed, add a dash of maple syrup.


  1. If toasting hazelnuts, heat a frying pan over medium-high heat and dry roast for about a minute,  to give a greater depth of flavour.
  2. Briefly blitz all the pesto ingredients (including the hazelnuts) in a food processor or hand held blender and taste for seasoning.
  3. Spiralize the courgettes or use a veg peeler to turn them into ribbony noodles.
  4. Take half the pesto and toss with the courgettes and serve immediately, garnishing with shavings of cheese, if you fancy.


  • 4 large courgettes
Hazelnut Pesto
  • 1 large handful hazelnuts, about 100g
  • 80g fresh basil, leaves and stalks
  • 6 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves
    Shavings of Parmesan or pecorino (sheep’s cheese), to serve (optional)

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