Saturday, September 25, 2010

Wednesday, Sep 22 - Arugula Pesto - a Peppery and Garlicky experience

Arugula Pesto with Wholewheat Fettucini
We have been growing Arugula in a window box on the balcony.  A friend of ours had recommended it because he was having real success with it in his garden.  They're in San Francisco though and so I still had my doubts.  Our herb garden is fairly healthy but the leaves never really get as large as the store bought. Well, during one hot spell my Basil really took off.

Anyhoo, it took us a while to find the seeds since most of the larger box gardening stores only carried more standard veg.  We found a place on Commercial that had a wider variety but alot of the seeds were written in Italian.  With a little help, we figured out that the Rucola seeds were what we were looking for :^P

When we first planted it, I thought we had weeds because it seemed impossible that it would sprout within two days.  When they first sprouted they looked like clover.  D insisted that they were the Arugula since they were sprouting prescisely where he had laid the seeds.  Within two weeks we had a window box full of baby sized arugula.  It will continue to grow if you need it.  Purely organically grown out in front of us, it was easily twice as peppery than any we'd bought so it goes a long way.  So it was not a surprise that by now that autumn is upon us.  We have more Arugula than we know what to do with.  D asked that I harvest the rest and make a pesto.  I harvested two packed cups or a draining colander full without putting much of a dent in the modest box.

Now I quite liked it but I would recommend you make it slightly looser than you would Basil or Cilantro Pesto because you will need less per serving.  Probably 1-1 1/2 T per serving rather than 2 Tablespoons.  D found it a tad too peppery and so I think for his sake, I'l return to making it half and half Basil and Arugula. 

Arugula Pesto

2 c Baby Arugula, packed
1/2 c fresh Basil
1 clove Garlic (I used 2 and it was too much though it could have been that clove)
1/3 Pine Nuts
1/4 c Olive Oil
1/4 c Parmesan Cheese (the REAL stuff.  Nothing in a green plastic cone)
Pepper to taste

This will make four portions.  This volume of ingredients is small enough to do in your smaller processor like an apartment sized or handblender attachement processor (not the hand blender itself!).

Layer the Garlic, Herbs and then the Pine Nuts.  You will likely need to add the Arugula in batches if you are using the smaller processor.  Our handblender attachement cup is just about 3 cups.  Blitz for a few seconds, pour in some of the Olive Oil and more Arugula.  Continue until you have added all the Arugula and you see the consistency you like.  Add the Parmesan and finish blitzing.  Since my aim into the little cup is lousy with the rasp, I shave the Parmesan with a peeler into the processor.

Place the Pesto on the bottom of your bowl.  Top with the cooked pasta lifted directly from the cooking pot into the bowl and toss.  You can loosen it up with some pasta cooking water or more Olive Oil.  Serve with fresh Parmesan.

2 Leave a / Read COMMENTs:

Karen said...

I recently made arugula pesto for the first time, too. I love the peppery flavor!
Wish I could grow herbs and veggies, but I tend to kill everything I plant...

Unknown said...

Sounds wonderful!! I will make it a point to try this. Great read too. A fun spot to drop by and visit.