Arugula (Rocket) Pesto Recipe

Arugula (Rocket) Pesto

Fresh arugula pesto is zesty and has a peppery kick. Delicious with almost everything, from pasta to salads, pizzas and bread spreads. This 10-minute recipe is easy to make and best of all can be frozen, ready to use when you need it.

If you decide to refrigerate it for a few days only, add a splash of olive oil on top of your pesto. It will keep it from getting brown. Toasted walnuts can be used instead of the more expensive imported pine nuts.

Yield: about 1 cup (240 ml)

Time: 10 minutes


  • 2 large garlic cloves, roughly chopped, or to taste
  • 3 Tbsp pine nuts or chopped walnuts
  • 4 cups (200 g) packed arugula (rocket) leaves, tough stems removed
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) mild extra virgin olive oil
  • salt
  • 1/2 dried chili pepper, deseeded or cayenne pepper, to taste
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice (optional)
  • 1/2 cup (50 g) Parmesan, or to taste


Heat a small saucepan over medium-low heat and toast the pine nuts or walnuts until they are light brown. Keep shaking now and then so they do not burn. Set aside to cool.

Chop garlic cloves and nuts in a food processor, stopping occasionally to scrape the side of the bowl. Add arugula, salt, chili pepper and pulse until finely chopped. Slowly drizzle the olive oil down the food processor tube. Process until the mixture is smooth. Thin it up to your liking with a bit more olive oil if necessary.

Add Parmesan cheese and lemon juice (optional) if you plan to use it immediately. I prefer to freeze the pesto without the Parmesan because it gives me more options when using it.

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