Arugula Pesto | Midwest Living

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Arugula Pesto

Arugula Pesto

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  • Makes: 8 servings
  • Yield: 1 cup pesto
  • Prep 15 mins
  • Cook 5 mins to 7 mins

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Peppery arugula pinch-hits for basil in this memorable pesto from chef Kevin Shinn of Bread and Cup in Lincoln, Nebraska. Try it as a spread on baguette slices or as a pasta sauce. (One cup coats 12 ounces cooked pasta.)


  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1/4 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 4 cloves garlic, halved
  • 2 cups firmly packed fresh baby arugula, fresh baby spinach or fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • Salt


  1. In a medium heavy skillet, toast walnuts over medium heat for 5 to 7 minutes or until you can smell the aroma of the walnuts, shaking the skillet once or twice during toasting. (Be attentive, as nuts burn quickly.) Remove skillet from heat; let walnuts cool for a few minutes.
  2. In a food processor or blender, combine walnuts, Parmesan and garlic. Cover and process or blend with several on/off turns until walnuts are coarsely chopped. Add arugula. Cover and process or blend with several on/off turns until leaves are coarsely chopped.
  3. With the machine running, gradually add olive oil and process or blend to the consistency of soft butter. (If you prefer a smooth, thin pesto, add more oil. If you want a thicker, chunkier pesto, add a little less oil.) Season to taste with salt.
  4. Refrigerate up to 2 days or freeze up to 3 months. (Divide mixture into 1/3-cup portions before freezing, so you only have to thaw as much as you need.)

Nutrition Facts

(Arugula Pesto)

Servings Per Recipe 8, cal. (kcal) 181, Polyunsaturated fat (g) 5, Cobalamin (Vit. B12) (µg) 0, Monounsaturated fat (g) 11, Folate (µg) 12, iron (mg) 0, fiber (g) 1, calcium (mg) 50, Fat, total (g) 19, Riboflavin (mg) 0, carb. (g) 2, Thiamin (mg) 0, sat. fat (g) 3, Pyridoxine (Vit. B6) (mg) 0, chol. (mg) 2, Niacin (mg) 0, Potassium (mg) 59, sodium (mg) 117, sugar (g) 0, pro. (g) 2, vit. C (mg) 1, vit. A (IU) 146

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