Campervan Cooking – Rough Pesto

Rough Pesto With Hemp and Sunflower Seeds

This is an edited excerpt from The Small Kitchen Cook by Ash Butler. Over a decade of living and travelling in campervans across Australia and the USA, she’s perfected the art of cooking delicious wholesome food in RVs, tinyhomes and caravans without tonnes of fancy equipment or any electrical appliances. Preorder your copy here and get $25 to spend on anything at Zorali!*

Pesto screams summer to me. It also reminds me of visiting family on their farm in Numinbah Valley, where they grow basil and other organic produce. I worked on the farm for a while, helping to grow and share their seasonal produce with the broader community.

We would make huge amounts of pesto, which paired perfectly with slow-roasted tomatoes and a big pot of pasta. It was so simple and delicious – the perfect example of Magnus Nilsson’s words; “A dish
can never be better than the produce”.

Makes: 2 cups
Prep: 20 minutes

Pesto Ingredients

2 cloves of garlic, finely diced 
Juice of one lemon 
1 teaspoon of flakey sea salt 
3 tablespoons of hemp seeds
or sunflower seeds (you could use half and half)

1 bunch of basil, leaves only
1 bunch of parsley, leaves only
1/3 of a cup of shaved parmesan 
1/2 a cup of extra virgin olive oil, plus extra to pour on top to preserve

How to make Pesto

Place garlic, lemon, salt and seeds in a mortar and pestle and mash until they begin to form a paste. If you don’t have a mortar and pestle, that’s okay, but you will have to chop the ingredients as fine as possible to achieve the same result. 

Add the herbs and parmesan and continue to mash or chop. Drizzle in half the oil and combine. If chopping, drizzle on a bit of oil at a time and keep chopping. Continue until you have used all the oil and you will have a messy, chunky pesto. Add a little more salt if you think it needs it.

Transfer the pesto to a jar and top it with olive oil to help preserve it. Keep it in the fridge for up to five to seven days.

TIP: You don’t need electricity for this pesto recipe – just a sharp knife, a chopping board and a mortar and pestle, if you have one handy. 

Above images by T. Thimios

Love cooking on the road? You’ll love these cookbooks

*T&Cs apply.

Write a response

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


G'day, and welcome to our Australian website. It looks like
you're in North America, so maybe you'd prefer to check our
our North American website, which offers all our books for
sale in American dollars, and the shipping is so much cheaper.


Hey, we noticed you're leaving, but you've left something in your cart?
Before you leave, we wanted to offer you 15% off your purchase.
Just use the code – exploring – at checkout.

Did you know that for every book you order, we plant one tree?