Sep 28, 2017

Lemon Arugula Pesto Sauce

I went upstate NY and bought two very large batches of arugula from a small farm.  I knew if I didn't make it right away they would go bad.  So I decided to make a pesto sauce.  This gluten free lemon pesto was very flavorful.  I changed the nuts and used almonds instead of the traditional pine nuts and I was pretty impressed with the results.

I never used to like the taste of arugula, I thought it was too bitter.  Now I love the peppery, nutty flavor that the arugula imparts.  Maybe I had a bad batch because if the leaves are allowed to mature too long the plant will become very bitter.  Also, there is a difference between mature arugula and baby arugula.  The baby arugula that you buy in the supermarket is definitely milder.

So this is what the mature arugula looks like.  As you can see the leaves are larger than the baby arugula.  The flavor is stronger so I blanched these to soften make it a little milder.  You can use this pesto sauce on almost anything!

I used it to make this amazing shrimp, pasta and zoodles dish but this would be amazing baked into bread, as a spread on a sandwich, to make bruschetta, mixed into a salad dressing or top your veggies with it.  The possibilities are endless!!

Lemon Arugula Pesto Sauce 


  • 4 large roasted garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup roasted sliced almonds
  • 1 large raw (not toasted) garlic clove 
  • 6 oz raw arugula (blanched)
  • 1 oz raw arugula (unblanched)
  • 1 large lemon, juice ( 1/4 cup)
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (2oz)
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)


In a cast iron pan, roast the garlic cloves and the almonds (unless you bought the almonds already roasted) I didn't use any oil, just heat the pan and let the garlic brown, turning it every few minutes, for about 15 min. just until charred.  leave one large clove raw.

Prepare and ice water bath in a large bowl, and bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Place the arugula in a strainer and plunge it into the boiling water for about 15 seconds, remove and place into ice bath. let cool down and remove it and let it drain. squeeze excess water with paper towels or a kitchen cloth

In a food processor, add all of the ingredients together.  pulse until you have an even consistency. Pour into a glass jar and use as needed.

Yields:  Servings: 1.5 cup (24 tbsp),  Serving size: 1 tbsp,  Smart points: 2,  Calories: 64.4,  Total Fat: 6.4g,  Saturated fat: 1.2g,  Cholesterol: 1.9mg,  Sodium: 141.9mg,  Carbs: 1g,  Fiber: .3g,  Sugar: .2g, Protein: 1.5g


  1. Being a diet conscious person its very difficult for me to decide what to eat and what not to. Thanks for sharing this mouth watering recipe for us. Will surely gonna try this.

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