I'm so ashamed that I missed my Week Twenty post. Somehow it was just one of those weeks. Sigh. Trying to get ready to go out of town and worrying about all the details. One night I threw something together, using the collards and I thought perhaps I'd write about it. I regret to say it was a total failure. It didn't taste BAD but uh…nah….nothing to write about. I should have realized when I started by pulling a refrigerated pie crust out and when I started to unroll it I thought it seemed a bit funny. I checked the expiration date and it was January of 2012. Whoops. I substituted tortillas and uh…it just didn't work…

This week's box was gorgeous as always. I love arugula. I don't know why I don't use it more often. I love its peppery bite—it can overwhelm so I think it needs strong flavors or the sweetness of something like fruit to match it. I decided to make something I hadn't done in ages—-a simple arugula pesto. I admit I do this in a food processor…you could use a blender as well, or the classic mortor and pestle!

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Arugula Pesto
adapted from Simply Recipes (a good source for well tested recipes)

one bunch of arugula (about two cups)
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted
1/2 grated parmesan
2+ cloves garlic (dry sauteed in their skins for a few minutes if you want it milder)
1/4-1/2 cup olive oil

I tore the arugula up very roughly–I didn't bother to take the stems out–and put it in the food processor. I added the roughly chopped garlic, the toasted nuts and started running it as I poured the olive oil in. I ended up adding a few tablespoons of water to thin it out a bit more without adding more oil. Once that was all completely minced I added the cheese and a pinch or two of salt, pulsed it once or twice and it was done!

As always, you can use pesto a million ways…on pasta, on a flank steak before you grill it, on some potatoes—in mashed potatoes—or as a pizza sauce! It keeps in the refrigerator too so you can just use a dab here or there. I have also made a wonderful kale pesto with pecans and olives. You know, you really can't lose if you mash something up with olive oil, nuts and cheese, now can you? Although I will say for you vegans—that this is still excellent without the cheese! Let me know if you try this or have any other ideas for it….


6 thoughts on “Sola Gratia Farm Week Twenty-One: Arugula Pesto

  1. I make a cilantro pesto that I think is delicious. Cilantro, pepitas (raw or toasted) olive oil, garlic and salt. This concoction freezes very well (amazing how long that cilantro tastes fresh after you freeze it!). Months later you can mix a tbsp or so with for your sandwich and it’s REALLY GREAT!

  2. Van, do you use the cilantro pesto on pasta or just sandwiches? Sounds great with the pepitas. Cynthia, your photos made me say aloud, “Yeah, now we’re talking…” I gotta get some ‘rugula planted.

  3. I don’t think I’ve ever had it on pasta… I’ve mixed it in rice, spread it on pizzas, added a spoonful to chili, I imagine it would also be good on a hamburger or on eggs.. it’s pretty versatile like any other pesto.. I think I saw the original recipe in a Bobby Flay cookbook many years ago.. I keep a ziplock bag full in the freezer… hell, I think it would be good in chocolate chip cookies!

  4. Sounds awesome. I had an alfredo pesto with chicken and arugula in Minneapolis last week and it made my eyes roll back in my head. An easy one to improvise, I would think.