Camp Cook: How to make walnut pesto potatoes

Walnut pesto potatoes

When I’m at home, this is normally a side dish. It goes really well with barbecued meats or with fish like sea bass. You could use shop bought pesto, but if you make your own it really does improve the flavour. If you want to really zing it up, try swapping out the basil leaves for wild garlic leaves. This does need some preparation at home, but it’s worth it!


For the pesto:

  1. Large bunch of basil leaves, or use wild garlic if you have them.
  2. 50g of parmesan cheese.
  3. 50g of walnuts
  4. 1 clove of garlic, peeled.
  5. Olive oil (drizzle it in until you get the consistency you’d like)

For the main dish:

  1. Around 10 new potatoes.
  2. 2 banana shallots, sliced.
  3. Vegetable oil.
  4. Salt and pepper.


  1. At home, first make the pesto. You will need a food processor for this part, but it is very simple. Put all of the ingredients in and add some olive oil. You don’t want this too oily, because you will be adding oil to the potatoes later, so start small and add a little at a time until you get it how you like it. Then get whizzing. It should end up looking like the picture below. Transfer the pesto into a plastic pot and store it in the fridge until you’re ready to go. It will keep for 3 or 4 days in the fridge but I recommend making it no more than the night before.

2. Next, boil the potatoes until they are soft, allow to cool and then cut in half and transfer to a plastic container. Season with salt and pepper and add some oil to them so they are coated (don’t go mad or it will end up very oily when you add the pesto, just enough to coat them so they don’t stick or burn). Then slice the shallots and store in a separate container.

3. Once you are on the hill, start by frying the potatoes. You want them to colour and to get a bit gnarly. If they are soft enough you can gently mash them with a spork so they crisp up more and take up more of the pesto. Don’t add the shallots at the same time as they will burn and turn bitter (by the way, I’m fully aware that I’m using the windshield incorrectly below. The ground was very dry and I stood the stove on it to prevent scorching).

4. Next add the shallots. You need to keep them moving in the pan to stop them from catching. Cook for 3 – 4 minutes or until they are soft.

5. Finally add your pesto, and keep stirring it through until it’s all warmed through. Then serve!

If you really must have meat with your dish, some chorizo would go quite well with this. Just slice it and fry it once the potatoes have gone crisp.

If you make this dish and enjoyed it (or not!) I’d love to hear from you. Please leave a comment!

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