Arugula walnut pesto

Do you have dishes that you can make over and over? You know they’re going to be tasty, they almost always sound delicious, you could have made them three times already this month but they still appeal? We have a handful in our arsenal, and they are pure gold when the weather gets hot and nothing sounds good.

One of these recipes is one for an arugula pesto sauce for pasta that Tim discovered several months ago. We’ve made it a handful of times and I know it’s going to have a permanent spot in rotation because not only is it unbelievably tasty, but it comes together lightning fast. Other than the arugula, we’ll always have the other ingredients on hand, so it’s easy to spot a bag of arugula and decide that is what we’re doing for dinner sometime in the next 4 days.

The biggest “problem” with the dish is that arugula can be weirdly hard to come by. They sell bags of it at Trader Joes, so that’s our easiest source, and while we’re there on our monthly stocking-up-trip, we often grab a bag of their Lemon Pepper Pappardelle Pasta, because the sauce tastes amazing with it. (I am not necessarily a person who gets all excited by fancy pasta, but tasting the noodles to see if they’re done, the lemon and pepper flavors both really come out, so it’d be delicious with just a little olive oil. But that extra hit of lemon brings out the lemon in the pesto and the whole dish is way more awesome.) If we can time it right, Tim gets a giant bag of arugula from his favorite greens lady at the Pearl Market, but once it’s past the cool season for abundant lettuces, we’re out of luck there. We need to check the Giant Eagle Market District store and maybe the new Kroger on High to see if their more complete produce departments carry it with regularity. Because it’s worth it.

I encourage you to try it for yourself. Tim discovered the recipe on No Meat Athlete, and it’s simple and forgiving. I measure nothing for it anymore, with the exception of the lemon juice (but even then, I added a splash more anyway). I just keep adding lovely leafy greens to the food processor, way more garlic than is called for, and a healthy handful of walnuts. I usually use less oil than is in most pesto recipes, I just add it until the consistency seems right. We don’t use cheese in the pesto because Tim doesn’t like it, but I certainly added some delicious slivers of gouda to my leftovers for lunch at work. I’ve mixed this sauce with yummy sauteed or steamed veggies (peas and mushrooms are especially good to add), but just the straight pasta sauce is also perfection.

What are your go-to recipes?

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7 comments on “Arugula walnut pesto

  1. spinthemeal says:

    Looks delish! I just made roasted tomato basil pesto with cashews last night. Turned out great! Planning to post the recipe on my blog, but the tricky part is that it was one

    • spinthemeal says:

      Oops, hit reply too soon. It was one of those a little bit of this and that recipes, so not easy to post an exact recipe!

      • Kate says:

        Hi there, thanks for commenting! I have a lot of recipes that are a “little of this and that” as well. I am not trying to be a food blog, but I put some recipes up from time to time, because to me, food is a big part of making a house into a home.

        I looked at your blog, I love that you create some healthy recipes for yo and your family! I wanted to comment on one of your recipes, but commenting didn’t seem to be available, so I figured I’d put it here and you’d probably see it. Good for you for supporting your kids’ eating habits. My husband and I are both vegetarians and have been for a long time (I converted when I was in high school). How challenging that your oldest also has a nut allergy (I would be so sad without peanut sauces in my life). Does he do okay with beans? They are an amazing protein substitute, especially paired with rice. If you’re feeling brave and your kid is a little adventurous, you could look into tofu, too, though I know there are some objections to soy out there. Tofu is great as long as you remember that it really takes on the flavor of whatever you cook it with, so make sure to pair it with some yummy sauces or spices.

        Anyway, good luck, hope to see you around here again!

  2. sybaritica says:

    I think I’d prefer say, pistachio’s myself, but it sounds like the bitterness of the arugula would work very nicely in a pesto :-)

    • Kate says:

      The arugula is very refreshing paired with the lemon and garlic, slightly spicy and delicious. My husband loves pistachios, maybe we’ll try that sometime! I just love that it’s alternative to pine nuts, which I adore, but they cost so much. We always have bags of raw walnuts in the freezer, no extra trips out for pricey pine nuts!

  3. […] and I forever had to process things in batches, or add voluminous greens a little at a time (the arugula pesto could be a bit of a challenge sometimes!). The pumpkin orange loaf calls for an entire orange […]

  4. […] of food as an extension of making a house into a home. Some favorites were: spicy soda crackers, arugula walnut pesto (we made this for Christmas Eve dinner), our crowd-pleasing empanadas and of course my family […]

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