Arugula pesto

June 21, 2011

Basil pesto is, of course, the Grande Dame of pesto sauces, but many other herbs make wonderful versions of this classic Genoese sauce, like today’s arugula pesto, or this mint-walnut pesto.

Arugula is a bit spunky by nature and has a distinct spicy flavor – two things that make it an excellent candidate for a unique pesto.

But there are two other things that make arugula pesto stand apart: arugula is available all year long so it’s a great substitute for when basil is not in season and you’re having a pesto-craving… and it doesn’t oxidize – the sauce stays bright green even days after it’s made.

Arugula pesto

makes 1 1/4 cups
active time: 15 min

  1. 4 oz (115 g) arugula – rinsed and spin-dried
  2. 1 large garlic clove – skinned
  3. 1/3 cup blanched, sliced almonds
  4. 1/4 cup freshly grated Reggiano Parmesan
  5. 1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano
  6. 1/2 teaspoon sea salt or to taste
  7. freshly ground black pepper to taste
  8. 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

  1. Place all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor. Process until it forms a creamy paste, about 2 to 3 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl once. Transfer to a bowl, cover and keep refrigerated until ready to use.
  2. Cook’s note: Refrigerate for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 1 month.

sauces, pesto, arugula
© 2014 Viviane Bauquet Farre Food & Style NY LLC

Disclaimer: As always, my point of view is my own. I do not accept samples, and have no commercial relationship with any product, food or wine company.

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Eating Deliciously June 22, 2011 at 12:40 pm

I am a huge fan of pesto. Looking forward to trying this version with arugula.


briarrose June 22, 2011 at 1:36 pm

Gorgeous pesto. I love the use of arugula.


Kay Ecker June 22, 2011 at 3:11 pm

Your pesto looks great! I just made pesto for the 2nd time just the other day with basil. It’s nice that the arugula one doesn’t oxidize and the color stays so bright. Nice photo too, the green is so vibrant. Thanks for the nice compliment on my Enchilada post :o)



Viviane June 22, 2011 at 4:18 pm

Eating deliciously, Briarrose, Kay, Thank you for your wonderful comments – very glad you enjoyed the pesto recipe…

Kay, it’s my pleasure! Your enchilada recipe is wonderful. I love the way you fry everything in your wok!


Kelly July 3, 2011 at 9:40 pm

Your arugula pesto looks wonderful and I love that you brought in almond for taste and texture. It bet the cheeses taste great, too. Lovely!


Hester aka The Chef Doc July 14, 2011 at 12:54 am

I love non-basil pestos! Don’t get me wrong–I love basil but being non-traditional is fun, too :-) I love arugula pesto! It’s peppery bite in pesto form will add to any dish!


Deb June 20, 2012 at 11:54 am

Arugula pesto is stellar! Your recipe is very enticing with the addition of Romano cheese that can easily share the stage with the arugulas spicy flavor. A splendid robust recipe for early summer!


Viviane June 20, 2012 at 12:22 pm

Thank you so much Deb! I do love the Romano cheese in this pesto – it gives it an extra kick.


Kelly June 20, 2012 at 2:02 pm

This looks absolutely wonderful, I love your recipe! :)


CCU June 20, 2012 at 4:16 pm

I love this twist on pesto my friend, it sounds and looks refreshing and delicious :D

Choc Chip Uru


Cucina49 June 20, 2012 at 5:18 pm

I’ve made lots of different pestos, but not with arugula. What a great idea, and you’re right, perfect for when basil isn’t available.


Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love. June 20, 2012 at 8:15 pm

I love pesto. It has so many great uses! Love that you used arugula!


Riley June 24, 2012 at 10:50 am

This looks even better than regular ole basil pesto. Yum, thanks for the recipe!


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