I grabbed some arugula at the CSA recently with the intention of making this pesto.
It’s an old favorite of mine–a lemony pesto with arugula taking the place of some of the basil. Adapted from the Silver Palate Cookbook.
Arugula and Basil Pesto Recipe
- 1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
- 6 cloves garlic (fewer if they’re large and/or potent)
- 5 cups arugula
- 1 cup fresh basil
- ¾ cup olive oil (you may not need quite this much, stop when it gets to a consistency you like)
- Juice of 2 lemons
- Salt and pepper to taste
- ¾ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
Put pine nuts and garlic in a food processor and process until a paste. Add the arugula and basil and process to a thick paste.
With the machine running, add the olive oil in a thin stream (the pesto should be thick and spreadable, like a thick mayo).
Add the lemon juice, salt & pepper to taste and process until combined. If you’re not going to freeze it, add the Parmesan and process until blended. Serve over pasta, fish or lamb and enjoy!
My verdict: As I said in the intro, this is probably my favorite pesto. I love the addition of lemon with the peppery arugula. My favorite way to use it is pretty classic—just find some great ravioli or tortellini and go for it! However, it’s great over fish and or chicken too. Whatever you’d normally use pesto for.
There’s always some version of this in my freezer. I usually freeze it without the cheese and just add it in before serving.
I like a bit of crunch with my pine nuts, so toasting them is critical, but now that I’ve found Trader Joe’s toasted pine nuts, I don’t have to worry about burning them. I usually keep a small handful out and just add them at the end, so they don’t get too finely ground.
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