In spite of our cool start to Summer around here, the garden is taking off. Since it has been cool spinach and arugula are out of control. Even though I tried planting them weeks apart, it is all ready at the same time. We’ve eaten it until I think our skin will start turning green soon so I had to find a use for the abundance. I wanted to harvest it before it went to seed so I decided to make arugula pesto.
I have made pesto many ways , traditional with basil and pine nuts, even spinach with pecans or almonds, but arugula was new to me this year so I decided to give it a try.
First I washed the arugula and gave it a spin in my salad spinner to remove the excess water.
To make the pesto , in addition to the arugula you will need : olive oil, garlic, almonds, parmesan cheese.
I decided to use almonds instead of the traditional pine nuts, but really I think any nut would work.I chopped them in the food processor a bit before I added the remaining ingredients. For a colander full of greens I used about 2/3 cup of nuts.
Then I piled in the arugula gave it a few pulses in the food processor and added a bit more. I then added 1 cup of grated parmesan cheese and 2 cloves of garlic. Pulsed the food processor while adding just enough olive oil to to make a smooth pesto. You can adjust the amounts of each ingredient depending on your taste.
Honestly you can use spinach, basil, or arugula, any type of shelled nut, parmesan or other grated hard cheese, and optional garlic. Even a combination of greens works great.
I filled mason jars with the pesto leaving 1/2 ” space at the top to allow for expansion in the freezer. You could also fill ice cube trays with the pesto and when they freeze store in ziplock bags and pop out what you need and keep the remainder frozen. If stored in the refrigerator I would try to use within 2 weeks.
It really is easy and tasted wonderful stirred into pasta. I also used it as a spread for grilled flat bread (that is something I make often around here, I will share that sometime soon.). Any where you would add basil pesto you could use this instead for a change of pace.
Hope you’ll try it and let me know any other similar ‘pesto’ recipes.
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