Minimal Monday: Arugula Pesto




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I think we can all agree that basil pesto is one of the world’s great foods. It’s so great that it’s easy to forget about all the other interesting variations of the sauce. This past year for the blog I’ve made it with  Artichoke and Lemons, Sun Dried Tomatoes and Almonds, a mix of  Olives, as well as the traditional, and I’m just getting started.  Pesto sauce adds a healthy burst of flavor to whatever it touches so I’m always looking for new ideas.

This pesto won’t replace the traditional version, but it’s a nice change of pace.  It has a grassy scent and is a little less pungent than classic basil pesto.  I used baby arugula, which has a more subtle peppery zing than the mature greens.  It just tastes like spring to me.

Minimal Monday: Arugula Pesto
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Minimal Monday: Arugula Pesto

Ingredients

  • 1 5oz bag or tub of baby arugula
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts (or walnuts)
  • 1/3 cup grated Asiago cheese
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • sea salt
  • fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 cup good extra virgin olive oil

Instructions

  1. Put all the ingredients except the olive oil in the bowl of a food processor. Stuff the arugula down, if necessary.
  2. Pulse the machine until the arugula breaks down, scraping the sides of the bowl once or twice, and then drizzle in the oil until you have a smooth sauce. Taste the pesto and adjust the seasonings if you need to.
  3. Store in an airtight jar in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Notes:  You could substitute just about any nut you like for the pine nuts.

In the spirit of Minimal Monday I’m going to use the pesto as a dipping sauce for bread.  Take a couple of tablespoons of the arugula pesto and whisk it with more olive oil until it has a good dipping consistency.  Add a dash of sherry vinegar and pour into a shallow bowl or plate.  It’s kind of like a salad in dip form.

When you’re not using it as a dipping sauce, spread it on fish before baking or broiling, or toss it with cold pasta and veggies to make a springtime pasta salad.
Happy Monday!

 

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11 Comments

  • Reply
    Magnolia Verandah
    April 10, 2012 at 8:54 am

    Love the green green and I love the different types of pesto. We call this type of leaf Rocket – I love its peppery taste.

  • Reply
    Mother Rimmy
    April 10, 2012 at 3:33 am

    I have a container of arugula in the frig that usually just gets tossed as a salad. Nice idea for a change of pace!

  • Reply
    Jacquelyn Grandy
    April 10, 2012 at 5:13 am

    Hi Sue! So funny that you posted a pesto recipe. I was originally going to post my 3 favorite pestos today but it was taking to long to organize so I gave up and posted my favorite popcorn recipe instead. I love pesto as well and it’s such a perfect meatless Monday meal.

    Safe travels!

  • Reply
    Lyndsay Wells
    April 9, 2012 at 6:35 pm

    I can’t wait to make this! Arugula is a favourite of mine and I can imagine how great this would be tossed with pasta and maybe some grilled prawns.

  • Reply
    Claudia
    April 9, 2012 at 6:30 pm

    I agree with you about the different pestos. They are so versatile and really simple. I love the idea of using arugula – and while basil is grand, the peppery arugula does give it the extra zing. The photos of the spring-green pesto is sending me to the store. I cannot wait for my seeds to sprout!

  • Reply
    Jill~a SaucyCook
    April 10, 2012 at 12:03 am

    I love pesto and I love arugula so this seems like a dish I must make SOON!! Yum!

  • Reply
    Victoria
    April 9, 2012 at 4:14 pm

    i don’t think i could share that…

  • Reply
    Lea Ann
    April 9, 2012 at 10:14 pm

    I’m a big arugula fan, so am loving this idea. Such pretty pictures, makes me want to grab that bread in my hand and take it for a dip.

  • Reply
    Heather @girlichef.com
    April 9, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    I want to reach out and grab that bread and swipe it through the pesto. Looks gorgeous.

  • Reply
    Tricia @ saving room for dessert
    April 9, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    Very nice idea. I love arugula and I love pesto – a great match!

  • Reply
    Priyanka
    April 9, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    Yummy. Great pics

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