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Arugula-Chili Pesto

Yield: about 2-1/2 cups

This rich, nutty pesto has lots of uses. See the the tip box below for suggestions.


  • 4-1/2 oz. arugula (about 3 tightly packed cups)
  • 2 oz. fresh basil leaves (about 1 tightly packed cup)
  • 1 cup pine nuts (about 5 oz.)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (about 2 oz.)
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, grated
  • 1  Tbs. finely grated lemon zest
  • 2  tsp. fresh lemon juice; more to taste
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbs. Calabrian chile paste or minced hot red cherry peppers

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 320
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 290
  • Fat (g): 33
  • Saturated Fat (g): 4.5
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 7
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 19
  • Cholesterol (mg): 5
  • Sodium (mg): 170
  • Carbohydrates (g): 4
  • Fiber (g): 1
  • Sugar (g): 1
  • Protein (g): 4


In a food processor, combine the arugula, basil, pine nuts, Parmigiano, garlic, lemon zest and juice, and 1/2 tsp. salt. Pulse until finely chopped, scraping down the bowl as needed.

With the motor running, drizzle in the oil until the mixture emulsifies, scraping down the bowl once or twice. Season to taste with more salt and lemon juice.

Transfer the mixture to a bowl, and stir in the chile paste. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.


How to use your pesto:

  • Spread on sandwiches
  • Toss with pasta.
  • Toss with poached shrimp.
  • Top a steak.
  • Brush on grilled or roasted chicken.
  • Stir into yogurt for a savory sauce.
  • Serve with crudités.
  • Drizzle on pizza.
  • Spread on toast and top with heirloom tomatoes.
  • Stir into warm rice.
  • Dollop onto sunny- side-up eggs.
  • Stir into tuna salad.
  • Blend with egg yolks for deviled eggs.


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