What Shellfish Goes Well With Pesto?


Short answer
Pesto can add an extra dimension to many seafood dishes, but when pairing with staggeringly expensive shellfish, we only recommend using it sparingly.

Long answer
One of the most insane facts we've ever heard is that our all-time favourite food, lobster, used to be crawling over beaches in such abundance that they were considered fit only for use as fertiliser or for feeding to prisoners.

How times have changed. With lobsters now costing £50 per kilogram, when we treat ourselves to a lobster from our favourite shellfish supplier, we want to taste it in its full, unadulterated glory with little more than some brown butter, sea salt flakes, and a squeeze of lemon juice.

Pesto scallops

That's not to say that adding a little herby, garlicky pesto to your lobster thermidor sauce isn't a delicious addition. Our crab rolls are lifted with a little pesto, and they also pair brilliantly with super-sweet scallops.

Pesto crab roll in a brioche bun

The natural sweetness of prawns and langoustines stands up well to the bold flavours of pesto, and drizzling some sauce over steamed clams provides a wonderful contrast of textures and flavours.

Mussels with a pesto sauce

Arguably the very best way to pair pesto is when preparing mussels. Their briny, slightly sweet taste can be enhanced by the vibrant flavours of pesto. Just make sure to add the pesto right at the end of the cooking process, as you want to just heat it gently and not cook it, which can completely change its character.