Arugula Pesto ♥

Perfect for late-in-the-season, slightly bitter greensYikes, this arugula had a bitterness I wasn't expecting! It was past peppery, into something slightly caustic. So I knew that a simple arugula salad wasn't the ticket.

Enter arugula pesto, where arugula's bitterness is moderated by toasted almonds and Parmesan. It was quite delicious with a quick side pasta. (And in case you're wondering, no, arugula doesn't create a neon-green pesto. The noodles themselves are an Asian noodle of that color. They do brighten a plate, yes!)

WHAT TO DO WITH LEFTOVER ARUGULA PESTO Leftover pesto is handy to have around! One night I tossed it with tiny new potatoes for a no-mayonnaise potato salad. Another night, I stirred it into some goat cheese and then slightly warmed it in the microwave - a terrific appetizer. Another night I added some vinegar to make a quick salad dressing.


Hands-on time: 20 minutes
Time to table: 20 minutes
Makes 1 1/2 cups

6 cups fresh arugula, washed well and allowed to dry

1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup almonds
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan (I like to keep about half the Parmesan in tiny cubes for more substance)
Salt & pepper to taste

Wash the greens. While they dry, in a small skillet, let the olive oil warm on MEDIUM. Add the almonds and let cook in the oil, watching the heat so not to burn, til the almonds turn golden.

While the almonds cook, whiz the arugula in the food processor - you may need to work in batches. Add the almond/oil mixture and Parmesan whiz to combine. Season to taste.

How to eat more vegetables? A Veggie Venture is the home of Veggie Evangelist Alanna Kellogg and the best source of free vegetable recipes with 700+ quick and easy favorite vegetable recipes, the Alphabet of Vegetables, Weight Watchers low-point recipes and microwave vegetable recipes.

Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. Now that sounds like genius Alanna! Great simple ideas - especially for summer.

  2. Great idea. The arugula I got at the Farmer's Market was sadly just too strongly flavored. And I had the same experience when I tried to grow my own. Love this idea to tame it down a bit.

  3. AnonymousJuly 01, 2007

    I prefer arugula pesto to basil pesto - has more bite I find. Spinach pesto is great too, but arugula pesto is definitely my favourite.

  4. Wow, I really must try this. The reason that I don't make a lot of pestos is that basil is pretty pricey. But arugula is not and this looks just as tasty.

  5. I'm mad for arugula, have been buying a lot at farmers' market this year. What a great idea, the pesto out of it!

  6. I love bitter, but arugula can be a little harsh, even for me. I've made a similar pesto w/ walnuts, but toasted almonds sound like a great way to take the edge off.

  7. I have always wanted to try pesto but just didn't know what it would go with I need to start branching out on my food taste lol

  8. I can't wait to try this out! I love arugula and have always wanted to try it in a pesto. thanks for the recipe! :)

  9. AnonymousJuly 05, 2007

    I love arugula pesto, too, Alanna. When I get a particularly peppery arugula (which is most of the time, because the arugula here is usually picked too late!), I add a handful of fresh basil to the mix just to temper any bitterness.

  10. Ah, the arugula challenge...I think that (and beets) is why we pick our own at the farmers market rather than get the CSA prepack. There's a great essay on arugula: Allana, you really have the touch! I took your almond ingredient and added it to an asparagus pesto (from Recipezaar) that needed something -- better!

  11. AnonymousJuly 12, 2007

    I like raw arugula, my husband doesn't. But one thing we agree on is that cooking arugula in a soup really tones it down. Try that sometime! (A cookbook I own has a recipe for a soup that includes chicken, pasta, and arugula - it's a breeze to make with leftover chicken, especially if you have chicken stock on hand.)


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. ~ Alanna