My loving daughter, Sophie is a huge fan of pesto.  When the basil is overflowing from our little herb garden and you can score some fabulous arugula at the Farmer’s market, I make this Arugula Basil Pesto just for her.   This particular pesto incorporates the peppery component of arugula along with the basil and includes aleppo pepper for some complementary sweet heat.  I like to use a blend of hard cheeses that includes fontina, parmesan and asiago (available at whole foods).  Depending on the context, you may decide to add more our less oil so I tend to add it in 1/4 cup portions to get the right consistency.  I personally like it to have more oil, particularly when it is being used as a dipping sauce as featured above.

This arugula basil pesto competes fiercely with the various versions available at the Farmer’s market.  And while biased, Sophie says that mine is the best.

The great thing about this pesto is its utility.  Sophie prefers it on its own with assorted fixings of fresh bread (dip and devour) and arugula, manchego cheese and soppressata (wrap and roll).

I love it spread over fresh tomatoes and homemade mozzarella from the farmer’s market.  Or drizzled over grilled zucchini topped with tomato and mozzarella.


If you want to get fancy, jazz it up by rolling a little arugula, mozzarella and the pesto inside a thinly sliced piece of soppresata.


The options are endless as our activities for fun this summer.  We are currently full throttle summer.  Despite repeated sunscreen applications, my two kids are sun kissed with a bronze glow after their first full week of no school.  They are active with sports camp, swim team and tennis and constantly begging me for popsicles.  Mommy and daddy are still pale white and spending more time at the office and on their devices than they would like to be, but managing to enjoy some beach and BBQ.  Life is good.

Arugula Basil Pesto
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 1 cup moderately packed basil
  • 1 cup moderately packed arugula
  • ½ cup hard cheese (I like a three cheese blend of parmesan, fontina and
  • ⅓ cup pine nuts
  • ¼ tsp aleppo pepper
  • ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
  1. Add garlic to a food processor and chop into fine pieces. Add remaining ingredients, adding about ¼ cup of oil at a time until pesto is smooth and slightly oily.



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