This twist on pesto subs arugula for traditional basil to make a bright, peppery addition to pasta, chicken, fish or steak.
I’m a basil fiend. In turn, my leafy herbed passion goes hand in hand with pesto. I mean, is it even summer without it?
But when I discovered a fresh crop of arugula at the farmers market, my basil obsession took a detour. And I happily followed.
This fresh, peppery switcharoo to the sweeter basil style variety makes a damn fine addition to countless dishes. Pasta? Naturally. Veggies? Load it on. Chicken? Lather it in the middle of a chicken breast with some melty cheese and a slice or two of prosciutto and bam! Dinner is served.
About the Recipe
Pesto is hardly a daunting task. Simply load everything into a food processor (this is the one I have) or a blender and pretty much blend away. Okay, maybe don’t blend it into oblivion, but at least until everything comes together. You could add all of the ingredients at once, but I hold the olive oil to drizzle into the processor on its on so it creams and emulsifies to a thicker texture.
So what’s the difference between arugula pesto and basil pesto? They’re both green and they have the same basic ingredients. But depending on the spiciness of your arugula, you’ll discover a more pungent, peppery bite with arugula. Again, like all fresh ingredients, you’re dependent on the ingredient itself so adjustments each time you make it is essential.
Depending on the water content of your arugula and the quality of your olive oil (this one is my favorite) the olive oil may rise to the top. Don’t worry. This is natural, and a great sign of a good pesto, because a dry pesto has no flavor or coating affect. Simply stir and go.
- 2 cups arugula leaves
- ½ cup grated Parmesan Cheese
- ¼ cup toasted pine nuts
- 1 clove garlic, peeled
- ½ lemon, juiced
- pinch of kosher salt
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- In the bowl of a food processor, add the arugula, Parmesan cheese, pine nuts, garlic, lemon and kosher salt and pulse for 30 seconds to one minute or until the mixture is mostly fine.
- Turn the processor onto blend and slowly drizzle the olive oil into the mixture and process until blended. Taste and add more salt to your preference. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and blend once more. Transfer to a glass container (mine fit an 8 ounce glass container) and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks. Serve with pasta, chicken, or on flatbread or as a dipping sauce.
Eat Seasonal in July!
This recipe is part of the monthly group of food bloggers brought together by Becky of The Vintage Mixer to share seasonal recipes. What better time to eat seasonal than summertime?
Here is a list of other bloggers joining in the seasonal game. Hop over to see what they’re cooking now.
Quick Pickled Strawberries with Black Pepper and Tarragon by Simple Bites
Pea and Arugula Pesto by Floating Kitchen
Creamy Grilled Corn Pasta by Completely Delicious
Chocolate Strawberry Protein Smoothie by The Lemon Bowl
Crispy Chicken & Cucumber Salad with Dijon Vinaigrette by Climbing Grier Mountain
Healthy Zucchini Muffins by Gimme Some Oven
Fresh Corn Salad by Bless this Mess
Apricot Glazed Chicken by Vintage Mixer
Spinach Pesto by Mountain Mama Cooks
Papaya Seed Vinaigrette Dressing by Kitchen Confidante
Baked Zucchini Fries with Pesto Yogurt Dipping Sauce by Cookin’ Canuck
Peach Salad with Grilled Chicken and Raspberries by Well Plated
Poached Beets with Star Anise and Cinnamon by Project Domestication
Strawberry Fields Panzanella Salad with Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette by Flavor the Moments
Come back tomorrow to see how I use my arugula pesto in my recipe for Grilled Flatbread with Peaches and Arugula Pesto. It’s in season now and so good. You’re gonna love it.
Thanks for stopping by, have a great day, and make something good.
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