If using arugula, blanch by bringing a pot of water to a boil. Wash arugula thoroughly and prepare a large bowl of ice water. Place arugula in a large strainer or sieve and plunge it into boiling water. Blanch for about 15 seconds; remove. Shake off excess water, then plunge arugula into ice water bowl; stir so it cools as fast as possible. Drain well. If using basil, wash and shake off excess water to dry.
Place arugula on a few paper towels; roll and squeeze out excess water, until very dry. Chop arugula roughly; add to blender. Add garlic, salt and pepper to taste, olive oil, and macadamia nuts. Blend for 30 seconds. Add grated Parmesan cheese; pulse for another 30 seconds. Pesto will keep for several days in sealed container if stored in refrigerator. Serve at room temperature on crackers or warm on pasta. Garnish with remaining nuts and cheese. Makes 4 cups.
Approximate Nutrient Analysis per 1/4 cup serving (not including salt to taste):
200 calories, 21 g fat, 3.5 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 60 mg sodium, 2 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 1 g sugar, 2 g protein