I’ll admit, last week was a little indulgent. It was my birthday week – what do you expect? Between the chocolate chip cookie dough grahams and the brown sugar pound cake, I needed to detox a bit (not that you would know it by my frozen custard indulgence yesterday).
I’ve been in love with pesto for a while, but am always stuck on the regular sweet basil kind. You’ve seen me use it in sandwiches, pizza, and pasta salad. I wanted to try something a little different and had heard about using different greens in place of basil.
What I came up with is visually similar but flavorfully different. The arugula is slightly bitter and peppery and the walnuts really give it a heartiness. Another major win – my kids will eat anything they can’t pick off pasta. When I tossed half this pesto with a box of pasta they couldn’t stop devouring it along with all its leafy green nutrients.
While its great on pasta this pesto would also make a great appetizer spread on slices of crusty bread. It could also make an appearance as a sandwich spread or in a side dish tossed with some steamed vegetables.
3/4 cup walnuts
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 cups firmly packed arugula
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Toast walnuts in a small skillet over medium low heat, shaking occasionally, until fragrant and lightly toasted. Place in a food processor along with the garlic, arugula, and cheese. Process until coarse. With the motor running, drizzle in olive oil until desired consistency.
Use as a sauce for pasta, vegetables, or spread on bread.