Arugula pumpkin seed pesto
Use it for pizza, eggs, sandwiches, roasted veggies...the possibilities are endless.
I had a bunch of arugula that was pretty much heading out the door, and the last thing I wanted to do was waste it. If I can, I try to find ways to use up the food I have instead of just letting it go bad—especially a gorgeous container of arugula.
Typically arugula doesn’t stay in my fridge for long—I eat all of it within a few days. But I forgot about a container I had in the fridge after taking a week-long trip—whoops—which meant finding a clever way to use it up. That’s when the idea of this pesto came to be.
So typically pesto is made with basil and pine nuts. However, that doesn’t mean you should feel limited to only using those ingredients. I’ve tasted pestos that have been made with walnuts, almonds, pistachios, and even sunflower seeds. You could even make a red pesto with sun-dried tomatoes!
While basil is certainly more fragrant than arugula (and gives the pesto a different kind of taste), it doesn’t mean you can’t use a different kind of leafy green like arugula for a pesto. I’ve seen people make pesto with kale, carrot tops, spinach, collard greens, and so much more!
Now, what to do with pesto? As I said, the possibilities are honestly endless. Immediately after whipping up this pesto I put together a homemade pizza with spinach, ricotta, and pesto. Yum.
Pesto also works well as a spread for sandwiches (even breakfast sandwiches!) and is also delicious when tossed in with a bunch of roasted veggies—like carrots, potatoes, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, and more.
And, if you’ve ever spent time over on TikTok, you can even use a dollop of pesto to cook your eggs! Simply heat up a spoonful of pesto in a pan, crack an egg in it, cover it up, and cook on medium-low until the egg is set.
Pesto, presto! Here’s the recipe.
Arugula Pumpkin Seed Pesto
Makes 1 pint
2 cups arugula
2 garlic cloves
2 Tbsp pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup grated parmesan
Salt & pepper, to taste
Add the arugula, garlic cloves, and pumpkin seeds to a food processor. Process until chopped small.
Slowly pour in the olive oil from the spout at the top as you continue to process. It may be helpful to pause and scrape down the sides halfway through.
Toss in the grated parmesan. Process a bit in order to combine, but don’t overdo it.
Mix in salt and pepper to taste.
Place the pesto in an airtight container or mason jar and keep it in the fridge for 1-2 weeks.
This recipe is edited from the original basic pesto from The New York Times.