Arugula is a spicy green that is a staple of our salad mix here at Summit Springs Farm. Word on the street is that you can make amazing pesto from it. We have yet to try this recipe out, but it certainly looks like a winner.
4 cups of arugula leaves, roughly chopped (remove any tough stems)
2 cloves garlic
½ cup sunflower seed kernels
¾ cup Parmesan cheese
½ cup olive oil
salt to taste
In a food processor, blend the arugula, garlic, pine nuts and Parmesan cheese into a smooth paste. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Then, with the blade running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Process until the olive oil is thoroughly incorporated and the pesto is smooth. Give the pesto a taste and add salt if necessary.
Leaves from younger plants work best in the pesto because arugula gets increasingly spicy, and develops a more pungent flavor, as it matures. If you only have older leaves on hand, not to worry. Just blanch them in hot water first to knock the spiciness down a level or two. To prevent the pesto from turning an unattractive greenish black color, load it into a glass or plastic container. Then, smoosh a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the pesto and cover the container with a tight fitting lid. The pesto keeps in the fridge for a week or more. It also freezes well.
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