I would have to say that arugula is my favorite lettuce, it’s got a crisp, peppery flavor that compliments everything from hamburgers to turkey sandwiches. The one problem with my arugula love affair is that I very often end up with more than I can eat before it goes bad. The solution? Make pesto.
3 cups Arugula Leaves
1/4 cup Pine Nuts, toasted
1 tablespoon Lemon Juice
2/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/3 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
3 Cloves of Garlic
1 tablespoon Salt
1 teaspoon Pepper
Start the pesto by pulsing the garlic in a food processor with the cheese and the pine nuts until the garlic is broken up pretty well. Add the arugula, salt, pepper and lemon juice. Turn the food processor on and add the oil in a steady stream through the top. Stop the food processor as soon as the oil is incorporated. Voilà, you have pesto.
Tips and Tricks:
You can easily substitute basil instead of the arugula to make this a more traditional pesto.
If you don’t have pine nuts you can use walnuts, pecans, almonds, or even pistachios. Each will give a little variation on the flavors.
Pesto can be frozen to extend the shelf life. The easiest way to do this is to use an ice cube tray. Once your pesto is frozen you simply pop it out of the tray and put it in a plastic bag. You now have easy to grab pesto cubes for a quick sauce on a hectic night.
Makes 1 cup of Pesto.