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Recipe – Rocket Pesto

Updated: Apr 29

Rocket (or arugula if you’re following an American recipe) is one of my favourite leaves and it is in season right now. It’s sharp, peppery leaves are the perfect foil for a simple parmesan, rocket and balsamic side salad to pretty much any barbecue dish. It’s also easy to grow from seed yourself if you’re a fan – even in a windowbox.

Why include rocket?

1. Rocket contains many nutrients including vitamin C, K and A.  In fact, it provides many of the health benefits of kale, broccoli and Brussel sprouts. In addition, it contains fibre, folate, and iron.

2. It is a cruciferous vegetable, it contains glucosinolates which are broken down into powerful compounds in the body. These compounds protect your cells from damage and have been shown to inactivate cancer cells and they support hormone detoxification.

3. It is rich in vitamin K – containing 109mg of the vitamin per 100 grams. Vitamin K regulates blood clotting so that your injuries heal when you get hurt. It also helps regulate blood pressure for a healthier heart and ensures calcium is carried to your bones.

4. Supports eye health – it contains two antioxidants, lutein and zeaxanthin, these antioxidants protect the macula of your eye from degeneration. They also guard against damage caused by UV light and blue light.

Here is a new twist on pesto in which you simply replace the basil with rocket, giving a peppery hit that’s perfect drizzled over chicken or fish, or over a summer salad. Here’s how:

50g pine nuts

100g rocket

50g parmesan

150ml olive oil

1 garlic clove


Put everything in a blender and whizz to a paste then season to taste.

Photo credit: Artur Rutkowski on Unsplash

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