Dishing Up the Dirt

Arugula, Green Garlic & Walnut Pesto

Here’s the thing guys- I love traditional basil pesto more than just about any other condiment. I love it so much that I made sure to sneak my Oregon Hazelnut and Basil Pesto recipe into my latest cookbook (which if full of new recipes that have not been featured on my blog) . The pesto was one of the very few exceptions that made the crossover from website to print. You can find that recipe here.  However, we are still a good month or so away from having basil available at the farm and I needed some pesto in my life. The arugula is cranking in the fields right now and we’re harvesting green garlic (aka “baby garlic”) and I thought it’d be a fun treat to make a few batches of pesto to go with a sheet pan chicken dinner. The results are a delicious, bright green and pungent sauce that can be served anyway you love eating traditional pesto. Tossed into pasta, served dolloped onto a piece of meat or fish, stirred into scrambled eggs or simply spread onto a piece of toast or as a base for pizza.  If you cannot get your hands on green garlic, garlic scapes or garlic cloves will work just fine as a substitution.

The walnuts I used in the recipe are local sprouted walnuts from Oregon. I’ve been on a big soaking and sprouting spree ever since I became a little more conscientious about phytic acid. If you’re interested in learning more about the benefits of soaking grains, legumes, nuts and seeds I highly recommend the book Nourishing Traditions. It’s a wealth of information. The soaked or sprouted nuts are a little more gentle on our digestive systems and the soaking unlocks more of the nutrients. Of course, you can definitely use un-sprouted walnuts and the flavor will be pretty darn similar. As with everything these days, it can be overwhelming to try and start soaking and sprouting all of our food so just do what works for you and don’t sweat a thing. I hope you all enjoy this zesty pesto as much as we do!

Cheers from Tumbleweed Farm

Arugula, Green Garlic & Hazelnut Pesto

Prep Time: 10 minutes    Cook Time: 0 minutes    Serves: 1 cup

  • 1/2 cup sprouted walnuts (or regular walnuts)
  • 2 green garlic stalks, thinly sliced (white parts only) or two cloves of garlic
  • 2 1/2 cups packed arugula leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice or red wine vinegar
  • 1/3- 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese or another hard, salty cheese


  1. In the bowl of a food processor pulse together the walnuts and garlic. Add the arugula and salt and continue to pulse until well combined. With the motor running, slowly pour in the oil. Process until smooth. Add the lemon juice and cheese and continue to process until well incorporated. Taste for seasonings and adjust as needed.


Store pesto in a jar in the fridge for up to 2 weeks or keep in the freezer for 6 months.

Leave a Reply

Sign up

Fresh recipies delivered to your inbox!