Rucola Basil Pesto

This summer, I’ve harvested buckets of rucola –also known as rocket, arugula, roquette. This leafy green can add a wonderful, spicy and aromatic quality to the plainest salad or pizza. I grew rucola in my garden for the first time this year. After planting it, my father-in-law warned me that it has an invasive root system and will take over my garden. He laughed as I excitedly exclaimed in broken French,”if all weeds tasted this delicious, they could invade my lawn for all I care.” Since then, I’ve tried to convince the hubs to replace our  lawn with rucola. Still working on it.

Last night, I wanted to whip up something quick and free up some of the space in my fridge, which has also been invaded by rucola. The idea popped into my head to make a pesto with rucola. I searched the web for recipes and realized I lacked pine nuts. I did have sunflower seeds on hand, however, I decided to make a rucola sans seeds (although next time I may try it with sunflower seeds). Here’s a recipe I adapted. It’s simple and easy and takes 10 – 15 minutes to prepare. Serve it up on pasta, toast, pizza or just eat it straight from the spoon.

  • a bunch of rucola
  • a bunch of basil
  • 1/2 c grated Parmesan
  • 3 cloves of garlic (I used 5, this was okay for me bc I love garlic, however, I’d say 3 cloves would be enough)
  • 1/4 c of olive oil (add more if it is too dry)
  • 2 TBSP fresh lemon juice
  • salt and red pepper to taste.

1. Roughly chop garlic.

2. Toss garlic, rucola, basil, and Parmesan in your food processor (or blender). Run processor until half of the ingredients are chopped.

3. Add olive oil and lemon juice, chop until you have a smooth consistency.

4. Transfer to a bowl, season with salt and red pepper flakes.

I served mine on fusilli pasta.

You could omit the rucola and use only basil (vice versa), if you’d like, but they do taste incredible together.


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