Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Arugula Pesto

I adore pesto.  What’s not to love, right?  I especially love it because it’s so versatile.  It’s a great veggie dip, pizza sauce, pasta sauce, sandwich spread, salad dressing, Jessica even put it on Mac and Cheese.  Not only can you use it 16, 285 ways, you can also make it 16, 285 ways.  Various herbs, cheeses, toasted nuts, etc.  Did you know you can use greens too?  No kidding.  I used arugula for this one.  You are smart so you probably already knew that just by the title.

Anyway, this is my new favorite pesto.  Arugula is a perfect pair for the awesome garlic-y goodness that pesto already possesses.  I think a little lemon juice would send this over. the. top.  I spread a little on a Trader Joe’s veggie burger (with which, I’m OBSESSED) for a quick Saturday lunch, and then smothered some gnocchi in it the next day.  Both ways it was incredible.

Also, did you know you can make pesto with an immersion blender?  I got a new one for Christmas so I’ve been using it for almost everything.  It works, and is much less of a mess than using a food processor.  I’m in love with my new kitchen tool!

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Arugula Pesto Recipe

Yield: 2 cups

Classic pesto kicked up with some spicy arugula.


2 cups fresh arugula, packed
2 large cloves garlic, peeled
2 Tbs. toasted walnuts
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt, more or less as needed
1/2 tsp. pepper, more or less as needed
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese


Combine arugula, garlic and walnuts in a food processor. Add half of the olive oil and pulse to begin processing. Continue to process on medium speed while streaming in the rest of the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and then stir in Parmesan cheese.

Cassie’s Notes:
To toast the walnuts, place the walnuts in a small pan over medium heat. Allow them to toast, shaking the pan often. Your nose will tell you when they are done, but watch closely, they burn easily!

If you prefer a stronger garlic flavor, add more cloves.

Slightly adapted from Simply Recipes


25 Responses to “Arugula Pesto”

  1. #
    Jersey Girl Cooks — February 22, 2012 @ 6:32 am

    Love this pesto. It is so much more convenient to make with an immersion blender….less things to wash.

  2. #
    Kathryn — February 22, 2012 @ 7:16 am

    My little food processor broke a couple of weeks ago which has made me so sad because I can’t make regular pesto anymore. I’m going to have to buy a new one this weekend because you’ve reminded me how much I miss it!

  3. #
    Julie @ Table for Two — February 22, 2012 @ 7:22 am

    This is perfect for my new food processor!! Although, I didn’t know you could make pesto with an immersion blender and I just recently got one of those so I have 2 options..hmm, let me think — the one that’s less cleanup! 😉 This looks delicious & I’ve seen it all over the place — it must be a hit! I love arugula but have never ever thought to make pesto with it. Great photos too!

  4. #
    Jen at The Three Little Piglets — February 22, 2012 @ 7:55 am

    That would be awesome on pizza with a little bit of roasted chicken and some shaved Parmesan! Yum!

  5. #
    Tara @ Chip Chip Hooray — February 22, 2012 @ 8:12 am

    Ooh love this! I’m glad to see you used walnuts–I’ve only ever seen pesto done with pine nuts, and I don’t always have those around. Walnuts, though, I’ve got tons of! Yay!

  6. #
    sally @ sally's baking addiction — February 22, 2012 @ 8:18 am

    oooo your pesto looks so fresh and tasty. i’ve never attempted to make my own pesto before but you make it seem very easy. So much better than store bought, I bet.

  7. #
    Bev Weidner — February 22, 2012 @ 9:04 am

    Liiiiick, lick lick!

  8. #
    Katie {Epicurean Mom Blog} — February 22, 2012 @ 9:31 am

    This is a perfect pesto!!! Mmmmmm!!! I haven’t tried the TJ veggie burger, but you know I’ll be trying it with this pesto!!!

  9. #
    elizabeth @ chronic venture — February 22, 2012 @ 9:41 am

    yum! I love pesto on everythinggg! I haven’t tried it with arugula yet, but it is officially on my list!

  10. #
    Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga — February 22, 2012 @ 1:08 pm

    I love pesto and arugula…great pairing!

  11. #
    Gina @ Running to the Kitchen — February 22, 2012 @ 2:12 pm

    Just saw this on Foodgawker and thought how funny b/c I posted an arugula pesto with walnuts today too. Yours looks delicious! I would’ve never thought to use an immersion blender but I like that idea b/c it’s way easier to clean than the food processor!

  12. #
    Jennifer Eloff — February 22, 2012 @ 3:38 pm

    Sounds wonderful, Cassie.

  13. #
    Courtney — February 22, 2012 @ 4:09 pm

    I’ve never been able to try pesto because of peanut/nut allergy.. this looks so good I wonder if I could try with sunflower seeds?

  14. #
    Erin @ Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts — February 22, 2012 @ 5:29 pm

    This is a great idea! I bet the peppery arugula would make a great pesto!

  15. #
    sarah — February 22, 2012 @ 6:02 pm

    Love this recipe! I can’t wait to put it on just about everything!!

  16. #
    Ann — February 22, 2012 @ 8:47 pm

    I am a huge fan of pesto and I LOVE my immersion blender….I had NO idea you could make it with that! Thanks!

  17. #
    Megan @CountryCleaver — February 22, 2012 @ 10:16 pm

    I’ll totally have to try this beauty. And with the spicy arugula – brilliant dollface, brilliant.

  18. #
    Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love. — February 23, 2012 @ 9:00 am

    This looks delicious, Cassie! I love the idea of using argula! Pesto can be so versatile!

  19. #
    Lauren — February 23, 2012 @ 10:19 am

    I love using walnuts in pesto!! So tasty!

  20. #
    nicole {sweet peony} — February 23, 2012 @ 6:35 pm

    oooh I just love this! I had noooo idea that I could make pesto with an immersion blender! I’m totally going to do that 🙂 And apparently I need to try those TJ’s veggie burgers. Yummm

  21. #
    Lora @cakeduchess — February 23, 2012 @ 9:11 pm

    Hi Cassie-Your gorgeous pesto is creamy and wonderful! I would love that veggie burger for lunch any day:)xx

  22. #
    Maureen — February 24, 2012 @ 7:42 am

    This looks so good. I want some 🙂

  23. #
    kita — February 26, 2012 @ 11:26 am

    Pesto was my crack baby last year. I couldn’t get enough of it and with these warm weather burst and your great photos I can already taste it! I can’t wait to whip up a new batch for spring!

  24. #
    Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious — February 27, 2012 @ 1:35 pm

    I usually make pesto with basil but I have yet to try it with arugula. I’m sure it will be divine, and like you said – you can use it a million different ways. I might just put it on my next pizza!


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