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Arugula Pesto Recipe


January 29, 2013 by admin


Pesto is versatile. Not only can the application go beyond pasta, but the main ingredient: basil, doesn’t always have to be in the spotlight.  Have you ever tried arugula pesto?

Here are three reasons you should make arugula pesto:

1. When you have arugula that isn’t crisp enough for a salad, yet still edible it’s perfect for pesto.

2. Arugula is less expensive than basil, especially in basil’s off season (winter months).

3. It’s got pep. Arugula has the ability to brighten any plate of food with its spicy earthy flavor. P-E-P, pep, delicious pep.

arugula pesto

The recipe is directed for using a blender. However, a food processor or mortar and pestle would work great to bring the ingredients together.

Arugula Pesto


2 cloves of garlic

1/2 C. olive oil

1/2 C. nuts (almond, hazelnut, walnut, are all good choices)

1/4 C. parmesan (optional)

enough arugula to fill a blender

healthy pinch of salt



Put in the blender: garlic, olive oil, nuts, and parmesan (if desired). Then fill the blender to the top with raw arugula. Don’t pack it in, but don’t be shy either.

Before you turn the blender on, arm yourself with a container of water. 1-2 cups is more than plenty.

Now, turn on the blender and slowly stream the water through the hole in the blender lid till you’ve reached your desired consistency. Turn off blender. Taste for seasoning. Add more salt if desired.

If you want some zing, and a further step outside traditional pesto, I love stirring in grated lemon zest. Just don’t add the lemon juice, because the acid will break down the bright green color.

Yields about 1C.


  1. Jesse says:

    This looks fantastic! Instead of just omitting the Parmesan, I might sub some nutritional yeast and salt to keep it vegan. Thanks and keep the recipes coming!

  2. Willi says:

    That sandwich looks magical! I like to put toasted pepitas in my arugula pesto! It’s yummy :)

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