Monday, October 21, 2013

Arugula Pesto

Pesto is a great condiment to have on hand for quick dinners and for adding flavor to all kinds of dishes. While basil pesto is near and dear to my heart, fresh basil can be pricy and difficult to find out of season. When I had a bag of arugula leaves the other week that was on its last leg, I decided to try making pesto, and it worked!

Arugula, basil, or any other flavorful herb (I had about half a bag left, maybe 2 cups packed tight)
1 clove fresh garlic
2-3 tbsp olive oil
1-2 tbsp toasted pine nuts (or any nuts that aren't too sweet)
pepper and garlic salt, to taste
(optional - 2-3 tbsp parmesan cheese)

Add all ingredients to a blender or food processor and blend until desired smoothness. That's it! I usually add a fair amount of parmesan cheese to my basil pesto, but opted not to with this arugula pesto and didn't miss it. You can use this just like you would any other pesto, but here are a few ways I managed to use it:

1) Use in recipes like Red's pesto chicken here
2) Add a little more olive oil and marinate chicken for grilling
2) Mix a tablespoon with mayo for a flavorful sandwich spread (and then toast it!)
3) Add to pasta sauces and soups for a big burst of flavor
4) Mix with a little more olive oil and a light vinegar for a great salad dressing (especially on caprese salads!)

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