Arugula Pesto

Arugula Pesto

Also known as “rocket,” arugula is a peppery, strong tasting leafy green that is rich in vitamin C and iron and makes for a great pesto. The strength, bitterness, and heat of arugula vary widely. For many people, the spicy notes are their favorite part of arugula, but if you like flavors a little milder, tone down an especially strapping batch by incorporating spinach leaves and/or adding more cheese to this pesto.–Stacey Printz

Arugula Pesto

  • Quick Glance
  • 10 M
  • 10 M
  • Makes 1/3-1/2 cup
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  • 2 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 3 cups arugula, packed
  • 1/4 cup pecorino Romano cheese
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • Salt


  • 1. Place the unpeeled garlic cloves in a skillet with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Cook over medium-low heat until soft, 3 to 4 minutes.
  • 2. In another skillet, toast the pine nuts until lightly browned and fragrant.
  • 3. Peel and mince the garlic. Place the garlic, nuts, arugula, cheese, and lemon juice in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until a coarse paste forms. With the machine running, gradually stream in the remaining olive oil and blend until the pesto emulsifies. Season with salt.

Serving Suggestions

  • Serve the arugula pesto over a salad of fresh peaches and prosciutto (Italian ham)
  • Toss the pesto with gnocchi, chopped fresh tomatoes and shaved cheese
  • Make an arugula pesto pizza. Coat pizza dough with pesto and mozzarella cheese, and bake in a hot oven.


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Recipe Testers Reviews

This is a super-easy and versatile pesto that you can use on pizza or as a spread for sandwiches.

Tips:You can use the same pan to cook the garlic and toast the pine nuts, and you don’t have to mince the garlic before putting it in the food processor because the machine is going to do it for you anyway. Save some time! We served this on homemade pizza dough with fresh mozzarella. When peaches are in season, I look forward to slow-roasting them and adding them to the pizza.

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