m. c. de marco: The New Kitchen Cookbook

Arugula Pesto

Peter likes arugula but not salad that’s just greens, so sometimes some leftover arugula needs using up. I made some into pesto because I had a lot of walnuts around as well, and then I put it on some otherwise plain Israeli couscous. The process is almost the same as for basil pesto.

This particular recipe is based on Elise Bauer’s, though I’m not sure it’s significantly different from all the others out there.


  • 2 c. packed arugula
  • ½ c. chopped walnuts
  • 6 cloves garlic, unpeeled
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • up to ½ c. olive oil
  • up to ½ c. grated parmesan


  1. Toast the garlic and nuts in a dry pan for 10 minutes (garlic) and/or until toasted.
  2. Peel and chop the garlic.
  3. Combine all non-cheese ingredients in a food processor.
  4. Mix in cheese manually.


You can use a mortar and pestle instead of a food processor.

For an easier sauce, you can chop the arugula just a bit and wilt it. Add red and black pepper, and optionally vinegar.