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Well, here I am a day later using up the fresh arugula I purchased at the beginning of the week for the arugula salad.  As you can see I am determined to use up every last bit of this arugula.  In fact, on  my list of things to do a lot a little better this summer (and believe me, this falls under “do as I say not as I do”), is to try to remember to use all of what I purchase for a particular recipe.  This is especially true of salad greens and fresh herbs.   Of course, this will mean a bit more planning for how to use these items.

{Are you good about using up fresh ingredients?}

I think it just bugs me to spend $4.99 on a fresh herb and to use 1 tbsp for a recipe and then the rest of it dies a slow, painful death in the refrigerator.    One part wasteful and the other part icky is when you finally discover the lettuce in the bottom of your crisper  in it’s less-than-fresh form.   I confess I find quite a few salad greens past their prime.

So, if you are hoping to maximize that bag of arugula (just like this gal)…read on for how to make arugula pesto.

I gave it a rough chop before adding it to the bowl of the food processor.

I’m hoping the acid from the lemon will do two things: brighten the flavor and preserve the color of the finished pesto.

I shaved Parmagiano-Reggiano cheese directly into the bowl, just eye- balling about a 1/2 cup.  I also toasted the walnuts before adding them to the bowl of the food processor.  Toasting nuts on the stovetop in a skillet just takes a few minutes and a watchful eye (they can go from toasted to burnt quickly).  Place nuts in your skillet over medium-high heat..  It will take about 5 minutes for them to toast and you’ll want to shake the pan almost continuously to avoid burning and to get them evenly toasted.

I added in just a bit more cheese, the juice from 1 lemon, fresh ground black pepper and Kosher salt.  Pulsed it for about 10 seconds more to combine those additional ingredients.

I think pesto is one of those go-to summer dishes and so easy to make with your food processor or a good blender.

Arugula Pesto


3 cups fresh arugula (packed), roughly chopped

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 tbsp (about 3-4 cloves) chopped garlic

1/3 cup walnuts, toasted

juice from 1 lemon (about 2 tbsp)

salt and freshly ground black pepper


Add all ingredients to the bowl of a food processor (or blender) and blend for about 45 seconds.  Taste and adjust seasonings.