Learning how to make my own restaurant-quality sauces has been a game changer. I haven’t met a sauce I didn’t like, but pesto is by far my favorite. Did you know that you can ditch the basil and make pesto with any dark leafy green? I’ve done it with kale, carrot greens (yes, the leaves at the top of the carrots are delicious!), and I frequently make it with arugula.

A traditional pesto also utilizes pine nuts, which can be rather pricey. They were out of stock on my last grocery order and the shopper messaged me to ask if she could replace with sunflower nuts. I told her to go for it. I was excited to see how it would come out.

Well, it was delicious and good enough to share with you all! Here’s the recipe!


2 cups arugula
1/4 cup sunflower nuts
1/2-1 cup olive oil
1-2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
A healthy squeeze of lemon
Pinch of Salt & Pepper


In a blender, puree ingredients until smooth. I find it blends best when olive oil is the first thing you put in.

This will make about 8oz of sauce. Serving size is 2 TBSP. It freezes really well, too! So it’s a good recipe for when you don’t want greens to go bad, but aren’t necessarily going to enjoy it right away.

Loving Recipes? Check out my cookbook or create your own with my recipe journal!

Plant & Sea: A Pescatarian-Inspired Cookbook
Passed Down: Friends and Family Recipe Journal