Sage Pesto

This recipe by

Claire Macdonald



A handful of sage leaves, soaked in cold water for 3 hours, then squeezed dry
1 fat clove of garlic, skinned and chopped
50g /2 oz. grated parmesan cheese
300 mls / 1/2 pint olive oil
Finely grated rind of 1 lemon, juice of 1 lemon
1/2 teaspoon salt, about 10 grinds of black pepper


Put the soaked and squeezed sage leaves and chopped garlic into a food processor and add the grated parmesan cheese. Whiz, gradually adding the olive oil, then the lemon rind and juice, salt and black pepper. You will have a thick green paste, which is delicious stirred into boiled and drained pasta, or stirred through heated cannellini beans or butter beans.
The sage pesto will keep in a covered bowl in the fridge for up to a week but you may need to give it a good stir as the oil will rise to the surface.
Sage is full of nutritional properties – it is full of antioxidants for a start, it is also high in the valuable vitamin B6, also vitamin K,. Sage is said to improve brain function! But it is essential for this recipe that the leaves are soaked in cold water for 3 hours. They lose none of their health properties.

Claire Macdonald

Claire Macdonald is an award winning chef, cookery writer and hotelier. A passionate and early advocate of Scotland’s natural environment and organic food production, she is known for using the best of Scottish seasonal ingredients in her recipes.

You can see Claire in action on her website.

Why are you supporting Marriage Week

We celebrate our Golden wedding in June this year. To some, being married for 50 years is almost unthinkable – 50 years with the same person! Well, for a start and I can only speak for myself, but the past 50 years have flown by. It feels so much less. I don’t feel as old as I am, and I am still waiting to feel grown up.  And I am very firmly of the opinion that there are two  vital ingredients to help a marriage through the inevitable ups and downs. These ingredients, completely essential, are laughter and food. It’s impossible to  know which is the most important, but possibly food has the very slight edge on humour!

We all need to eat to remain alive. It’s as basic as that. But it’s what we eat and how we eat that really makes the difference to how we feel, how we behave, and which helps a marriage, a family, get the most out of life.

Any top-tips?

In our marriage, how we eat as well as well as what we cook is very important – Sharing a meal together around a table is a priority whereas sitting with a tray watching the TV will hinder good communication!  It means that we are not only eating but talking. I feel so strongly that lack of communication between a husband and wife is the reason for a marriage to falter. Food is the natural conduit to communication!

*Disclaimer: We hope you enjoy making and eating the food in these recipes. Marriage Week cannot be responsible for the outcome of any recipe you try from this site or any site linked to. You should always use your best judgement when cooking with raw ingredients such as eggs, chicken, or seafood and seek expert advice before beginning if you are uncertain about the health risks. Please take care when using sharp knives or other cooking implements, and be aware of heated cooking surfaces while cooking. Please review all ingredients prior to trying a recipe in order to check for the presence of substances that might cause an adverse reaction. We have not tested the recipes on this site and cannot provide assurances about quality, nutritional value, or safety.


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