Arugula pesto

 My arugula is growing like weeds. And it’s bolting already! This means that the plant is making a flowerstalk that will then go to seed. It also means the leafs will taste a bit more bitter.

Usually I just snip the arugula into my salad. I really like the peppery taste. But arugula is very versatile, and you can cook with it.


I decided to make pesto. Although normally pesto is made with basil and pinenuts, I made arugula pesto with walnuts. The walnuts complement the strong taste of the arugula nicely.

I used a food processor to make this pesto, although you can do it by hand with a mortar and pestle.


2 cups of packed arugula leaves, thickest part of the stem removed
1/2 cup of toasted walnuts (substitute other nuts if you want to)
1/2 cup of olive oil
about 6 cloves of garlic, roasted in their skins
1/2 cup of grated parmesan cheese
salt to taste


1. Lightly toast the walnuts in the toaster oven for 1-2 minutes at about 300 degrees F.
2. Place the 6 garlic cloves with skins on a piece of aluminum foil and roast for about 5 minutes in toaster oven (or regular oven) at 350 degrees F.
3. Let garlic cool slightly and slip skins off.
4. Place arugula leaves, garlic, and walnuts into food processor, and drizzle some of the oil on top.
5. Pulse until well mixed, add the rest of the oil, and pulse again.
6. Remove mixture from processor with a spatula, place into a bowl, and stir in parmesan cheese.
7. Salt to taste.


I will probably mix it with gnocchi tonight. Or some other type of pasta…mmmmm, yummy!

2 thoughts on “Arugula pesto

  1. Down under we call Arugula – Rocket Lettuce. We mistakenly let it go to flower once and now our flower beds are OVERRUN with it.

    It is hilarious but gee is smells good!

    Try it tossed with roasted pine nuts, shaved parmesan and a splash of balsamic vinegar and olive oil.

    YUM !

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