meatless monday: arugula-basil pesto
This is a fiddly time of year for local agriculture. The summer staples are fading, the winter offerings have yet to come. This is the time for eggplant and arugula and the last of the cucumbers from the CSA.
The first thing on my do-to list was the arugula, mainly because I had little experience with it, and was really looking forward to trying something new. After going through a slew of fascinating recipes, I settled on a highly individual pesto from Simply Recipes. I ended up using a mix of arugula and basil, and the flavor was, in my humble opinion, absolutely perfect.
1 cup of packed arugula leaves, stems removed
1 cup of packed basil leaves
1/2 cup of shelled walnuts
1/2 cup fresh Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
6 garlic cloves, unpeeled
1/2 garlic clove peeled and minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
Brown 6 garlic cloves with their peels on in a skillet over medium high heat until the garlic is lightly browned in places, about 10 minutes. Remove the garlic from the pan, cool, and remove the skins. Toast the nuts in a pan over medium heat until lightly brown.
Combine the arugula, salt, walnuts, roasted and raw garlic into a food processor. Pulse while drizzling the olive oil into the processor. Pulse in the Parmesan cheese.
I ate my fill from the food processor, and packaged up the rest of it to freeze. I keep picturing it on focaccia with grilled onions and bell peppers, or on a goat cheese pizza…or eaten, in all its green late-summer glory, straight from the bowl.
Simplicity is key in these matters.