By Melissa Phy / For the Love of Food
Sometimes, you just need a change. So you cut your hair (and subsequently cry about it), or dye it; you take a short road trip; you try out your hand at feng shui (the couch looks great in that corner, by the way); etc.
Well, I needed a change. It took me a while to think about what I wanted and then *pesto!* — it came to me.
Normally, pesto is made with fresh basil leaves, toasted pine nuts, garlic and olive oil. But change was in the air.
Arugula is easily my favorite green (also called rocket) and I had tons in my fridge…. like three packs. It’s not a problem until you have four.
Pine nuts are delicious (I used them in Monday’s meatless recipe), but they’re also expensive. And the little voice in my head said “reach for the walnuts.” So I did.
This pesto takes just 15 minutes to make, from start to finish, including all the prep work (and clean up). You don’t need a food processor, a mini chop will work just fine.
Pesto is something that each chef, cook, mom, kitchen-dominator makes their own. Tweak as necessary, and don’t be scared to stray away from the measurements. Use them as a guideline and make this arugula-walnut pesto yours.
Enjoy summer arugula in a new way. And tell basil not to worry, he’ll make an appearance soon enough.
- 2 handfuls of fresh wild arugula (roughly chopped if using a mini chop)
- 1/2-3/4 cup raw walnuts, toasted
- 1-2 cloves of garlic (to taste)
- Half a lemon, juiced
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan
1. In a mini chop or food processor, combine garlic, walnuts and arugula. Chop until well combined.
2. Add salt and pepper and then slowly add EVOO while mixing until desired consistency. If you’re using a mini chopper, you won’t be able to stream in the EVOO. Just add a tablespoon or two at a time and then chop until desired consistency.
3. Add parmesan and lemon juice and blend again.
4. Taste! If it needs salt, or more nuttiness, add ingredients as necessary. Make it your own.
5. Add to any and everything — especially pasta. Oh, and lick the spoon. This stuff beats brownie batter by a mile.
- Use toasted almonds
- Roast your garlic for a more mellow flavor
- Add red pepper flakes for some heat
- Use lime juice instead of lemon juice
- Try it out with different greens, like kale, for a boost of beneficial vitamins
- Toss in some sun-dried tomatoes
All photos by Melissa Phy