Arugula Pesto


This peppery twist on pesto is lighter than the classic version made with pine nuts, Parmesan, and lots of olive oil. Serve it surrounded by thin toasted rounds of French bread and pita wedges, or pour it over a block of low-fat cream cheese or soy cheese, and accompany with crackers. To store it in the refrigerator, transfer to a tightly closing container and pour a film of olive oil over top to preserve its green color.

  • 1/4-CUP SERVINGServings


  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 4 cups arugula or watercress (from 2 large bunches), heavy stems removed
  • 6 Tbs. olive oil
  • 2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled


  1. Toast sunflower seeds in dry skillet 3 minutes, or until lightly browned. Transfer to food processor. Add arugula, olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic, and process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size: Makes 1 1/4 cups
  • Calories: 232
  • Carbohydrate Content: 4 g
  • Fat Content: 23 g
  • Fiber Content: 2 g
  • Protein Content: 4 g
  • Saturated Fat Content: 3 g
  • Sodium Content: 128 mg
  • Sugar Content: 1 g