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Pesto Pinwheel Rolls | Arugula and Walnut Pesto

Rebecca Lindamood
Fragrant, vibrant arugula pesto is rolled into tender, fine-crumbed, semolina dough to form these stunning and simple dinner rolls. Served alone or accompanying pasta, salad, or soup, they are a feast for the eyes as well as the body.


For the Arugula and Walnut Pesto:

  • 4 cups baby arugula or mature arugula leaves with the stems removed firmly packed
  • 3/4 cup walnuts
  • 3 large garlic cloves peeled
  • 3/4 to 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste

For the Pesto Pinwheel Rolls:

  • 1 batch Semolina Bread Dough
  • 1 1/2 cups Arugula Pesto
  • non-stick cooking spray or olive oil to brush pans


To Make the Arugula and Walnut Pesto:

  • Place a heavy-bottomed skillet or frying pan over medium heat, add the walnuts and toast them, shaking the pan frequently to prevent scorching, until the nuts are shiny and fragrant. When they reach this point, immediately turn them into the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade.
  • Add the garlic and arugula leaves, fix the lid in place and turn on the food processor. With the machine running, drizzle the olive oil into the feed tube until it reaches your desired consistency.
  • Scrape the pesto into a bowl and stir in the grated cheese, then taste and add salt and pepper to your liking.
  • Store tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to a week.

To Make the Pesto Pinwheel Rolls:

  • Use non-stick cooking spray or brush olive oil into four 8-inch round cake pans or two 12-cup muffin tins. Set them aside.
  • On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a rectangle that is about 24-inches by 18-inches.Spread the pesto over the surface of the bread dough, leaving about an inch of one long edge clean.
  • Gently but firmly roll the dough, beginning at the long edge that is spread with pesto, jelly-roll style, until you reach the clean edge. Pinch the dough together at the seam. It may not hold together completely, but that is okay. Lay the tube seam side down and cut first in half, then cut each half into 12 equally sized rounds. Put them into the prepared pans (6 rolls in each cake pan or 1 roll in each cup of the muffin tins.)
  • Lightly cover with plastic wrap and set aside to rise until slightly puffy looking (about 30 minutes.)
  • Preheat oven to 400°F.
  • Bake the rolls for 18-24 minutes, or until completely set and rich golden brown. Allow the rolls to cool in the pans for 5 minutes before turning them out onto a rack. They can be eaten warm or cooled and stored at room temperature for 3 days in a tightly covered container.

Nutritional information is an estimate and provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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