Monday, July 26, 2010


Here’s a handy tip for summer: if you have extra arugula (which I often do, because I like it on my BLTs, but that uses just a fraction of a bunch), make arugula pesto! Of course, you can simply substitute arugula for the basil in a basic pesto recipe, but I also like this one from Simply Recipes, which uses walnuts instead of pine nuts (their meatiness stands up well to the peppery arugula) and softens the bite of the garlic by roasting it—very cleverly, especially for summertime there’s-no-way-I’m-turning-on-the-oven-in-this-heat weather, in a skillet on the stove. I’d made this once before, a couple of years ago, but never posted it; then, I had it on pasta, which was good, but this time, thinking about how well arugula goes with potatoes, I tried it on pesto potato pizza, where it was excellent.

2 cups packed arugula leaves
½ cup walnuts
½ cup fresh Parmesan cheese
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
6 garlic cloves, unpeeled
1 small garlic clove, peeled and minced
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Brown the 6 garlic cloves with their peels on in a skillet over medium high heat until the garlic is lightly browned in places, about 10 minutes. Remove the garlic from the pan, cool, and remove the skins.

2. Toast the walnuts in a pan over medium heat until lightly brown.

3. Combine the arugula, walnuts, and roasted and raw garlic in a food processor or blender. Pulse while drizzling in the olive oil. Add the Parmesan cheese and salt and pepper to taste and mix until blended.

Yields: About ¾ cup
Time: 30 minutes
Leftover potential: Good; keeps in the fridge for about a week, or can be frozen for months

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