Chef John's Almond Arugula Pesto Recipe -
Chef John's Almond Arugula Pesto  Recipe
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Chef John's Almond Arugula Pesto
See how to make pesto with peppery, full-flavored arugula instead of basil. See more
  • READY IN 15 mins

Chef John's Almond Arugula Pesto

Recipe by  

"Arugula is also quite a beautiful herb. Fragrant, spicy, crisp; it makes a great pesto. I paired it with raw almonds for a combo that was just amazing on a grilled hanger steak. Subtle it's not, but that's okay sometimes."

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 4 servings Change Servings
  • PREP

    10 mins
  • COOK

    5 mins

    15 mins


  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add arugula and cook until bright green, about 30 seconds. Remove arugula to a bowl full of ice water for several minutes until cold. Drain and wring out arugula.
  2. Pulse arugula, olive oil, almonds, and garlic together in a blender, scraping down the sides, until mixture just becomes a coarse puree. Pour puree into a bowl and season with salt.
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Reviews More Reviews

Aug 13, 2014

Quick, easy and now my favorite arugula recipe. We've had this on burgers, steak and pasta. Full of flavor, although I've been hit in the face with a shovel before and despite the chef's claim it isn't quite a "hit you in the face with a shovel" sauce. Very potent though.

Sep 05, 2014

Very tasty! But best of all, a cinch to make!This recipe was easy to put together with ingredients I always have on hand. I boiled the arugula in a double boiler. When the arugula was done I pulled out the insert and put it in an ice bath for a minute or two. Then I transferred the arugula to a strainer and pressed it with a fork to remove the excess water. In the end it was still quite soggy and I had to wring out the arugula with my bare hands. This is probably easier and much more efficient in the long run. I used prepared minced garlic and cut back the quantity a bit for fear of it being too garlicky. I used about 3 tsp, which I take to be the equivalent of 3 cloves. I didn't find it too overpowering and will probably make it with the full amount next time. A dash or two of salt is definitely needed since this recipe does not include parmesan cheese, as many other pesto recipes do. My picky twin toddlers were reaching their fingers into the bowl and licking the rubber scraper when I finished making this! Yum!


3 Ratings

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  • Calories
  • 210 kcal
  • 10%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 2.6 g
  • < 1%
  • Cholesterol
  • 0 mg
  • 0%
  • Fat
  • 22 g
  • 34%
  • Fiber
  • 1 g
  • 4%
  • Protein
  • 1.9 g
  • 4%
  • Sodium
  • 99 mg
  • 4%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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