• Yield: Makes about 1 1/2 cups

For a more assertive, slightly spicy alternative to traditional basil pesto, we first processed almonds (toasted first to enhance their rich flavor) with lots of garlic, anchovies, and a serrano chile until the mixture was finely chopped. Then we processed the mixture in a food processor with peppery arugula, lemon juice, and olive oil until the sauce was smooth.


  • 1/4 cup almonds, lightly toasted

  • 4 garlic clove, peeled

  • 4 anchovy fillets, rinsed and patted dry

  • 1 serrano chile, stemmed, seeded, and halved lengthwise

  • 6 ounces (6 cups) arugula

  • 1/4 cup lemon juice (2 lemons)

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt


Process almonds, garlic, anchovies, and serrano in food processor until finely chopped, about 15 seconds, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add arugula, lemon juice, oil, and salt and process until smooth, about 30 seconds.

For a spicier pesto, reserve, mince, and add the ribs and seeds from the chile. The pesto can be refrigerated for up to 24 hours. If refrigerated, let the pesto sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.

Reprinted with permission from America's Test Kitchen

America's Test Kitchen
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