Protein-Packed Arugula Pesto

Arugula Pesto

Here’s the thing about flowers in vegetable gardening. Sometimes, they are good.  And sometimes, they are very, very bad.

Flowers on tomatoes, peas, beans and squash are good signs.  They’re needed to pollinate the little baby vegetables.

But if you see flowers on spinach or arugula?  Danger!

Okay, not really.  They’re still edible.  But they’re on their last breaths and will get progressively more bitter.

So when I saw little buds and woody stalks forming on my arugula, I needed to act quickly before it all bolted.

Which, for the record, sounds like the arugula is trying to run away to a far-away land.  It isn’t.  Though it is trying to cast its seeds far and wide, if that counts.

Arugula pesto it was, pumped up with some kidney beans. Not only did it allow me to cut back on the oil added and provide some protein, but it also gave this pesto a creamier-than-usual texture.

Arugula Pesto 2

Protein-Packed Arugula Pesto

3 cups packed arugula

1 cup cooked and drained kidney beans

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese


Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blending, processing until creamy.

Serve over pasta, vegetables, fish or meat.  Alternatively, fill a freezer-safe container with the pesto and freeze until needed, pressing out as many air bubbles as possible before sealing.  The pesto will freeze well for 4-6 months.


  1. says

    Mmm. I love making pesto with the bounty of summer and freezing it for a cold winter night. It feels like summer all over again. Love the addition of beans – I bet it adds a great texture too! Thanks, Julie!

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