Arugula and Walnut Pesto Spread

How do I love pesto? Let me count the ways! As a former Italian major in college my passion for all things pasta, cheese, and wine runs deep. Very deep. So deep that not only did I study abroad once, but twice! In the same city! The tale of that adventure is for another day, but for now we’ll focus on the little, delicious, green powerhouse of a sauce that can elevate any carb from spiritless to stupendous!

In the past I’ve made this sauce using a blender and with more ‘traditional’ ingredients like basil, pine nuts, parmigiano-reggiano, olive oil, garlic, and salt. But this week I wanted to take a fresh glance at the way I’d done it before and try something new. Instead of a blender I hunted down a new-to-me food processor on Facebook marketplace (for a steal) that I could use for this recipe + all of the baby food purees I’m planning on making in the next couple of months for Juliette as she begins to leave her little exclusive milk bubble. Stay tuned for more on that undertaking. I was so excited to find this food processor second hand, it allowed me to save oodles of money and to repurpose a perfectly good piece of equipment. Additionally, I’m storing this batch in a glass jar that previously housed store bought pesto. Win, win! 

pesto, sustainability
Homemade pesto slathered on an open face sandwich using kalamata olive bread and tomatoes from my farmer’s market + olives, spring mix, and swiss cheese.

This spread is so tasty, it can be used as a base for other sauces, spread on bread, mixed into warm pastas, or tossed with proteins and vegetables for an added flavor profile. Most recently we poured this over sauteed shrimp with extra garlic and olive oil, it was delicious!


  • Arugula
  • Walnuts
  • Fresh rosemary (ours is grown fresh in our backyard, this seems to be one of our only plants that can withstand the surface of the sun like temps in Phoenix)
  • Fresh garlic
  • Olive oil
  • White cheddar
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Salt
  • *Note that all of the ingredients should be used to your taste, nothing was measured precisely. If you like a more robust garlic flavor, toss in more cloves. If you LOVE cheese, add another pinch. Now throw it all into a food processor and pulse, pulse, pulse until you get to your desired consistency. Che buono! 

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