Homemade Arugula Pesto
Homemade pesto is the simplest of sauces, but probably one of the most versatile. Tossed with fresh or boxed pasta, you have the quickest of weeknight meals.
While I have a personal affinity to traditional pesto made with basil leaves, arugula pesto is my new favorite alternative. Not only is fresh baby arugula incredibly easy to find, even during the cold winter months, it also comes pre-washed.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg. My personal ways to use pesto include stirring it into freshly scrambled eggs, dolloping it onto homemade pizza, and spreading it onto sourdough bread for sandwiches or grilled cheese. You really can’t go wrong.
Add a spoonful of this arugula pesto to your favorite vinaigrette or hummus dip, use as a garnish on vegetable or slow cooker winter vegetable soup, or simply as an add-in to your favorite homemade meatballs.
You can also toss it with roasted winter vegetables.
Homemade Arugula Pesto
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
- 5 ounces baby arugula
- ¼ cup (60 mL) extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup finely grated manchego cheese
- ¼ cup finely grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese feel free to substitute and use only one type of cheese if you prefer
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- In a large food processor, pulse the garlic cloves until roughly minced.
- Add the pine nuts, arugula, and extra virgin olive oil. Pulse repeatedly until mixture becomes smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Remove mixture to separate bowl and fold in the grated cheese. Stir in the lemon juice and season to taste with salt and pepper. Use immediately or store in a container in the refrigerator. Best used within 2 to 3 days.
- If freezing, prepare pesto without the cheese, cover with a thin layer of olive oil. It can be stored for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge and add cheese just before serving.
6 Comments on “Homemade Arugula Pesto”
Hello! First I’d like to say that reading your story is very inspiring; I’ve always toyed with the idea of using my love of food for a job, and it’s good to hear someone have some success.
Second, I have a question about this recipe: is there any possible substitute for the pine nuts? My roommate has a pine nut issue, but this sounds so good I’d love to make it for our apartment.
Thank you so much Caitlin! It’s been a long journey–but I have no regrets. YES–you could definitely leave the pine nuts out–or substitute them with another nut, I would suggest walnuts maybe. Hope this helps!
Pippa — I used Manchego, because I happened to have it in the fridge, but I think since it's a bit creamier than parmesan, it helps cut some of the "grassiness" of the arugula, if that makes any sense. I think it could definitely be fine with both though!
Veronica — Yum!! Me too.
Saucy Spatula — I actually got the cutting board, which is a small butcher block, on a whim from BB&B. It's thick/heavy enough that it doesn't move around on my counter tops (key!) and is nice for photography. I've been really happy with it, even though I don't tend to buy much kitchen stuff at that store.
I really like that used-looking chopping board!
Thanks so much for this recipe. I *adore* arugula pesto on a good omelet.
Interesting that you used Manchego, do you like it better with the arugula for some reason?! I love the pinenut photo!