He will Taste the Love in this easy Rucola Pesto Recipe

Hi there, how ye doing? I have been a busy little bee. I have been working on the hutch all week. I can see that I am in the home stretch now and I love how she is turning out. If all goes well, I’ll be able to show her to you next week. 

easy rucola walnuts pesto recipe via Songbirdblog

I have been very happily working on my big makeover project. I get a bit single minded when I am in that zone. I mean, everything else gets neglected, the house, cooking, the man. Speaking about the man, he has been quite a saint through it all. Not only was he fine with me painting that big hutch (which by all means is a big thing for a guy, they don’t do ‘painting real wood’ so well), he has put up with the mayhem that followed too.


rucola dried tomato pesto recipe via Songbirdblog


He has been cheering me on, even when he obviously had his doubts this was ever going to look okay again. And now that I feel I am confident that the project will actually be finished soon, I figured I needed to earn me some brownie points. After all, I got the next mayhem inducing project lined up…..


rucola pesto recipe via Songbirdblog


And what is the fastest way to get into a men’s good book again? Feed him, of course. 

So this morning I took some time away from painting (it was too cold yet outside to start anyway) and prepare a little something for dinner tonight.

Of course this is actually a too easy recipe. Including prep time, it takes about 10 minutes to make. Took me longer to take the pictures. But we don’t have to tell the man that, now do we. Let him think that I slaved away in the kitchen to prepare this delicious concoction for him, shall we……


rucola pesto recipe with garlic via Songbirdblog


Whenever I want to make me guy feel special, I make sure that “he can taste the love” in whatever I am cooking 😉 

Often this means an extra big piece of meat (he is a guy after all), a little extra attention to how I present the food and an extra bit of something special on the plate.

I don’t know what it is about my guy but he loves to have some sort of extra sauce, dip, salsa, condiment whatever on his plate. Preferably served up in a nice little dish. If he had his way every dinner would include at least 10 little dishes all filled up with something extra. I guess he likes his dinners to have lots of choices and a bit of a gourmet touch.


pesto rucola recipe via Songbirdblog


Well he will be in for a treat tonight. He will have his own little dish with homemade pesto to spice up his meal. 

Now this rucola pesto recipe is not only really easy to make, it tastes like heaven and it is a hell of a lot cheaper than the original version. 

This time round it was almost free. Traditionally pesto is made with basil leaves and pine nuts. But since it is too cold yet for the basil to grow in the garden I’d have to buy it, and pine nuts are crazy expensive. So I went with alternatives.


rucola square food garden via songbirdblog


Last year I sowed some rocket / rucola  / arugula in my garden. It somehow survived the winter (or the seeds did) and it is growing rampant right now. In fact it is about to start forming blooms, so I wanted to use it fast. What better way to turn it into pesto. And I still have walnuts left from the stash I got from friends, this Fall. 

And so it happened. 


easy rucola walnut pesto recipe via Songbirdblog


From previous experience I know that the rocket needs something to balance its bitterness, so I added some dried tomatoes to add a bit of sweetness to it. And of course a good honking of cheese is necessary too. 


easy rucola pesto recipe via Songbirdblog


And I have already tasted spoon fulls of the stuff. It is good. My guy is going to be happy and he will surely ‘taste the love’ tonight. 

Maybe that will be a good time to bring up my plans for my next project….


Anyway if you need to score some points with the people in your life too, try this pesto recipe. It will work. 


Taste the Love: Rucola Pesto Recipe

50 grams (1/2 cup) of walnuts (hazelnuts work well too, or pine nuts of  course)

100 grams of rucola (= 2 packed cups)

at least 2 cloves of garlic ( I always use more, we love garlic)

about 5 sun-dried tomatoes in oil

100 grams (how much is that? about a cup if shredded, a piece the size of  a deck of cards) of spicy old cheese 

olive oil (I estimate about a cup)


Put all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Keep adding olive oil until the right consistency.



Roast the nuts in a dry hot pan. It isn’t strictly necessary but it will make it all taste just that much better.

For the cheese: parmezan works well, but I have also used very old Dutch Gouda cheese, I bet some old tasty cheddar would work too, just make sure the cheese has a good bit of flavor. 

If you grow your own rocket, wash it thoroughly and than spin dry. You don’t want to water your pesto down.

When blending, start with a good splash of oil so the knives have something to twirl that will get the rest of the ingredients moving. Every once in a while help everything along with a wooden spoon and scrape the sides of your container.

I had a lot of rocket so I made a large pot of pesto.  This will keep for at least a week in the fridge if you make sure there is always  a thin layer of oil on top. It also freezes well. 


Serve with bread, or as a side dish, over pasta or add a dollop of it to your vegetable soup. Or eat it right of the spoon… Just saying.


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  1. says

    Great recipe! I love pesto and have tried it with walnuts and fresh parsley as an alternative. Never thought of using rucola before, will have to try that. Come to think of it, my mouth is watering just about now….time for lunch! Have a great weekend Marianne! Liebe Grüße, Siggie

  2. says

    Mmmm, lekker. Ik vraag me af of dit recept ook zonder kaas smaakt. Mijn vriend eet helaas geen kaas (kwark, roomkaas, yoghurt etc). Helaas heb je gelijk wat de basilicum betreft. Ik heb laatste een potje buiten gezet en hij ziet er niet goed uit.
    Prettig weekend!

  3. says

    I made this today for dinner – it was amazing! I love rucola anyway, but in a pesto it was divine! My kids gobbled it up, too. Thanks for a great recipe!