Arugula Walnut Pesto

I love pesto. I could eat it with a spoon. In fact, I’ve found I prefer eating it with a spoon (or as a spread or dip) to eating it on pasta. Donna’s, where I used to work, had an amazing mozzarella, tomato and pesto sandwich, and they also put it on their Tuscan bruschetta. Thick, grainy layers of pesto on chewy Italian bread. So good.

I also love arugula. Peppery and nutty, it’s my favorite green. I use it as often as I use regular lettuce. So, arugula pesto. Double good, right? Right.

This pesto is strong-flavored, so be warned, but I think it’s absolutely delicious. It tastes like spring to me – clean, sharp, green, if something can taste green. Like the little wild spring onions we used to dig up in our suburban front yard as kids. I recommend eating this on soft, warm bread. Or on triscuits, like I just did since I ran out of bread. Or straight off the spoon.

Arugula-Walnut Pesto (found on, and courtesy of Sunset Magazine)

1/3 cup walnut halves or pieces

2 large cloves garlic

4 cups loosely packed arugula leaves, rinsed and dried

1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

3 tbs lemon juice

1/2 tsp salt

(Note: I used a blender instead of a food processor, and it worked just fine.)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake walnuts until slightly golden, 5 to 6 minutes. Pour into a food processor. Add garlic and whirl until coarsely chopped. Add arugula, Parmesan, olive oil, lemon juice and salt. Whirl until smooth.


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