I started making arugula (rocket/roquette) pesto simply to save some money. Basil can be very expensive and I wanted more bang for my buck! Similarly, pine nuts are extremely pricey so it was a natural switch to walnuts. Having made this pesto many times now, my tastebuds and wallet prefer this vegan, economical version over its basil competitor.


  • Arugula is a member of the cruciferous family along with broccoli and brussels sprouts. Cruciferous veggies have been shown to be excellent at boosting the immune systems and improving our defence against some cancers especially when consumed raw. Arugula, like spinach, contains a ton of calcium, but both leafy greens also contain compounds known as oxalates that can inhibit full absorption of this mineral. However, arugula is lower in oxalates, which may make it a better source of calcium for individuals trying to get the most out of their greens. Arugula also contains vitamin, A, vitamin C, and vitamin K.  
  • Walnuts are so delicious and a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. Theses essential fatty acids help to reduce inflammation throughout the body and keep fluidity in blood and cellular membranes. However, like any raw nut, it is very important to refrigerate walnuts to preserve the fats and prevent them from going rancid!

Arugula Walnut Pesto Ingredients:

1 cup arugula

1/2 cup walnuts, raw

1/4 cup olive oil

1-2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

3 sun-dried tomatoes (soaked in water to soften if not oil packed)

2 cloves garlic

sea salt & pepper to taste


Combine all ingredients until smooth in a high-speed blender or food processor. Serve with zucchini spirals, fresh pasta, or cucumber rounds.



  • Mateljan, G. (2007). The world’s healthiest foods. Seattle: George Mateljan Foundation
  • The Livestrong Foundation. (2013). Retrieved from http://www.livestrong.com