Basil Pesto and Goats Cheese Scones

Basil Pesto and Goats Cheese Scones

Recipe by Cat Rochefort ( / @cats_toulouse_kitchen) a Leiths School of Food and Wine Diploma Student.

I love the earthy satisfaction of tucking into a scone freshly baked from the oven. You always need a tester – just to triple check that it’s perfectly cooked, right? These scones are flecked with green basil pesto which gives them a wonderful flavour and also means the aromas radiating from your oven will be very enticing indeed. This recipe makes for a great savoury bake for a picnic. Or if you’re in the market for a lovely light lunch then why not slow roast some vine tomatoes and serve them on top of a warm scone with a generous slice of goat’s cheese? That beats a boring sandwich any day in my books!


For the pesto:
  • 50 g radish tops (carrot tops or spinach will also work)
  • 50 g basil
  • 50 g toasted walnuts
  • Grated zest of ½ lemon
  • 2 small cloves of garlic
  • 125 ml olive oil
For the scones:
  • 225 g self-raising flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 60 g butter, cold and cut into small cubes
  • 40 g goat’s cheese (I used Capricorn)
  • 75 -100 ml milk
  • 2.5 tbsp pesto 
  • 2 tbsp of grated cheddar or parmesan to top the scones


  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C/ 200° fan.
  2. First make the pesto by placing the radish tops and basil into a food processor with walnuts and garlic. Pulse until you have a paste.
  3. Slowly stream in the oil with the motor running until you reach the desired consistency.
  4. Stir in the lemon zest and season to taste.
  5. Give the processor a clean and sieve the self-raising flour into the bowl. Place the cubes of butter on top of the flour. Pulse until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Alternatively you can rub in by hand if you’d prefer.
  6. Transfer the butter and flour mix to a large bowl.
  7. Cut the goat’s cheese into ½ cm chunks and place in the bowl, stirring to mix. You need a goat’s cheese which can be crumbled or cut up as opposed to a spreadable one.
  8. Combine the pesto with the milk, add ¾ of the mix to the bowl and stir with a cutlery knife. You can continue adding more of the pesto-milk if you need to, until the ingredients come together into a soft dough. Pat the dough into a 3cm thick round.
  9. Use a 5-6cm cutter dipped in flour to stamp out the scones and place them gently on a floured baking sheet.
  10. Brush the tops with a little leftover milk and sprinkle over some grated cheddar or parmesan over them.
  11. Bake on the top shelf of your oven for 15-18 minutes.
  12. Remove the scones from the oven once they are risen and golden and cool on a wire rack.
  13. Serve with a roasted tomato and a slice of goat’s cheese, or simply devour warm from the oven with a generous spread of butter.

If you love the sounds of this recipe and herb-based cooking check out our Master Classes and other Herb-based recipes.