Your pasta will take off with this rocket lettuce and walnut pesto

Rocket leaves are one of the most nutritious green leafy vegetables. The next time you see them in the supermarket, be sure to buy a bunch

Rocket and Walnut Pesto

Arugula or rocket lettuce doesn’t look anywhere similar to the other lettuce leaves, yet it is lettuce nonetheless. It is usually added to pastas and pizzas for its distinctive flavour. A Mediterranean green with a distinct peppery flavour and aroma, Arugula has many health benefits including weight management, controlling high blood pressure and promoting heart health. Read more about its health benefits here.

Serves 4


  • 25g walnuts
  • 35g rocket leaves
  • 1 – 2 tbsp light olive oil
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 25g Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  • 2 – 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste

Preparation method

  1. Gently toast the walnuts in a frying pan on medium heat for a few minutes. Set aside to cool while you make the pesto.
  2. Using a pestle and mortar or food processor, crush the rocket leaves with the light olive oil until crushed into a rough paste.
  3. Add the garlic and toasted walnuts and grind well.
  4. Squeeze in the lemon juice, stir well and add the Parmesan cheese.
  5. Start adding the extra virgin olive oil, stirring as you go, until you have your desired consistency. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt, pepper and lemon juice. I like to make it loose to stir through pasta, or keep it coarse to spread on warm crusty bread. It will stay in an airtight container in the fridge for around five days.

This recipe was first published in the April 2015 issue of Complete Wellbeing.

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