Rocket Pesto (Arugula)

Homemade pesto always tastes so much better than anything you can buy in the shops. This Rocket Pesto  – also known as Arugula Pesto is the US – is peppery take on the Italian Classic.  Fresher and bursting with flavour from the herbs, it adds so much to most dishes.  You can pair it with pasta, meat, fish, veggies, use it as a salad dressing, it’s so versatile!  And the best thing is that it takes minutes to whip up in a food processor.

All you need is 6 simple ingredients and 5 minutes of your time.  Fresh Rocket Pesto (Arugula) by Emma Eats & Explores - SCD, Paleo, Grain-Free, gluten-Free, Sugar-Free, VegetarianStart by toasting the pine nuts in a frying pan on a low heat until they start to brown, (watch them carefully so that they don’t burn).  Put them to one side to cool and next you have to grate the Parmesan cheese (I’ve tried to skip this step but my food processor isn’t good enough to break down the chunks of cheese enough and the pesto doesn’t come out as smooth as I’d like it so I grate it now!)

Chop or crush the garlic.  I find the food processor does most of this for me later on so there’s no need to be too diligent.  Next, wash the basil and rocket and tear the basil leaves from the stems.  Add them with the cheese, rocket, pine nuts and garlic to the food processor along with plenty of salt and black pepper.Fresh Rocket Pesto (Arugula) by Emma Eats & Explores - SCD, Paleo, Grain-Free, gluten-Free, Sugar-Free, VegetarianTurn the food processor on and drizzle the olive oil through the hole in the top until the pesto is the right consistency.  I like to use a really good quality Olive Oil as it definitely makes a difference in this recipe.  The taste really stands out.Fresh Rocket Pesto (Arugula) by Emma Eats & Explores - SCD, Paleo, Grain-Free, gluten-Free, Sugar-Free, VegetarianServe the Rocket Pesto on top of pasta or Courgetti Spaghetti (Zucchini Noodles).  I served it on my Seared Tuna Niçoise Salad and also added it as a garnish for my Spicy Roasted Butternut Squash and Cumin soup and I add it to my Pesto & Cherry Tomato Focaccia.

There are loads of different ways to change-up the pesto.  You can switch up the rocket for roasted peppers or try a coriander pesto instead of a basil one.  Change any element of the sauce that you like.  You could do a walnut pesto instead of using pine nuts or even a hazelnut one.  I like to use avocado instead of the olive oil for a creamier taste.  I did this in my with Courgetti Spaghetti with Avocado Pesto.

This Rocket Pesto will last in the fridge for 2-3 days.

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Rocket Pesto (Arugula) Yum
Rocket Pesto (Arugula) by Emma Eats & Explores
Prep Time 10 mins
Prep Time 10 mins
Rocket Pesto (Arugula) by Emma Eats & Explores
  1. On a medium heat, toast the pine nuts in a frying pan until they turn golden brown in colour (about 5mins).
  2. Grate the Parmesan cheese.
  3. Chop or crush the garlic clove.
  4. Wash the basil and tear the leaves from the stems.
  5. Add the basil leaves, rocket (arugula), garlic, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese and plenty of salt and pepper to the food processor.
  6. Turn on the food processor and drizzle the olive oil through the hole in the top until the pesto is the right consistency
  7. Serve over pasta, or with meat/fish/salad etc
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Dietary & Allergy Information for Rocket Pesto (Arugula)

This Rocket Pesto is suitable for the following diets:

Grain-Free, Gluten-Free, Refined-Sugar Free, Paleo, Primal, Specific Carbohydrate Diet – SCD, Low Carb, Raw, Vegetarian.

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Rocket Pesto (Arugula) by Emma Eats & Explores - SCD, Paleo, Grain-Free, Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free, Vegetarian

27 Comments Add yours

  1. Bethany says:

    This looks so fresh and pretty!

  2. Thank you so much for sharing this with us at Allergy Free Thursdays! It sounds delicious!

    1. Thanks Raia – hope people enjoy it!!

  3. Samantha says:

    How delicious! I am headed to a girls night this week and totally making this!

  4. inforachel says:

    I wonder if I can use a hand blender to make this. It looks delish!

  5. Jessica Price says:

    i am arugula’s biggest fan and LOVE using it pesto–YUM!

  6. Clarissa says:

    So I’m normally not an arugula fan, but I think in pesto, it might be amazing!


  7. Margharet says:

    Oooh. I absolutely love pesto. I’ll be sure to give this a try.

  8. bhnunes07 says:

    I just LOVE pesto, this is a great recipe, thank you so much for sharing!!!!

  9. Christine says:

    Oh, I’m hungry now and I don’t have all the ingredients to make this delicious pesto.

  10. Momma To Go says:

    I love pesto and I never thought to add arugula great idea!

  11. Thewifeslife says:

    I love making my own sauces, dips dressings or whatever. I love pesto, looks pretty and tastes ahhmaazzingg.

  12. Be You and Thrive says:

    Emma! Love this recipe and look forward to trying it (AND tasting it!). Thanks!

  13. I love the idea of making pesto with rocket! I didn’t know that it was the same thing as arugula until very recently ha.

  14. I never would have thought to put Arugula in a pesto! It makes perfect sense now that I read this. Thanks for sharing!

  15. Kenya Rae says:

    Omgggg! I had to click on this!!!!! I love love loveee pesto! Matter of fact my daughter just made a grilled cheese with pesto today! ?

  16. bitesofflavor says:

    There is nothing better than fresh made pesto! Great recipe!!

  17. This looks so yummy. I bet it smells amazing too!

  18. mostlywoman says:

    Mmmm i like this recipe, i will try it soon. Thanks for sharing <3

  19. Ellie says:

    Such a vibrant color! Yummy! 🙂

  20. Looks very tasty. I will have to try them out. I have fussy eaters in my house ?

  21. I have tons of Basil growing in my back yard…I am going to try your recipe!

    1. emmaeatsandexplores says:

      Great Holly – it’s so easy to make and the fresh stuff makes such a difference – miles better than from a jar!

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