Chanterelle pesto

Kantarell Pesto

Kantarell pesto on knäckebröd

When the days become shorter and the leaves are changing colour and tumbling to the ground, the time to forage is here. There’s something so special and refreshing about creating a festival of flavours that hasn’t come from the supermarket shelves. Without a shadow of a doubt, my favourite foraged item is the mushroom. Although they may not appear to be the sexiest things in the forest, mushrooms are incredibly versatile. They can really improve the flavour of a risotto or soup, as well as being a wonderful dish in their own right.

Anna Bonde-Mosesson demonstrating how to make the pesto
Photo: Emelie Sahl

This is a dish I cooked when I did a demonstration how to cook Swedish food at Borough Market. There I served it on some homemade knäckebröd (crisp bread) - it makes a superb appertif. Anna Bonde-Mosesson


Recipe summary for chanterelle pesto


Kantareller on a market in Göteborg (Gothenburg)

• Use 45 g (2 oz) of dried chanterelles if you can’t find fresh. Soak them in cold water for about 30 minutes (or in hot water for 20 minutes), then drain them thoroughly and use as fresh.
• Basil can be used in place of parsley and rape seed oil instead of olive oil for a slightly different flavour.


250 g (9 oz) chanterelles (girolles)
60 g (2¼ oz) pine nuts (about a third of a cup)
100 ml (3½ fl oz) extra-virgin olive oil (a generous third of a cup)
1   small onion, roughly chopped
100 g (3½ oz) Parmesan, grated (preferably fairly mild)
1 tbsp   flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
2   small garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
    salt and freshly ground black pepper


Anna Bonde-Mosesson with two baskets of chanterelle mushrooms

1. Carefully clean the chanterelles until all dirt is removed. You can do this with a mushroom brush, a pastry brush or with damp kitchen paper.

2. Heat a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the pine nuts and cook, stirring continuously, for 2–3 minutes until just beginning to brown. Remove from the heat and leave to one side.

Onions and kantareller being fried in oil

3. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in the frying pan over a high heat until hot. Add the onion and fry, stirring frequently, for 2-3 minutes, until softened. Reduce the heat, add the chanterelles and fry for a further 5 minutes, until tender. Remove from the pan and leave to one side for 10 minutes.

A dish of kantarell pesto

4. Put the mushrooms and onion into a blender or food processor. Add the toasted pine nuts, Parmesan, parsley, garlic and the remaining olive oil. Blend until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add a little more olive oil if the pesto is too stiff. When cold, transfer to clean jar and store in a fridge - it keeps for up to two weeks.

Serving suggestions

Chanterelle pesto on some crispbread
Photo: Emelie Sahl

1. Serve on knäckebröd as an apperitif.

Pasta with kantarell pesto

2. Serve with some pasta.

Fried kantareller with pasta and kantarell pesto

3. For a real treat, top some pasta tossed in kantarell pesto with fried kantareller.


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