Arugula is a salad green that I hadn’t familiarized myself with in the kitchen until recently. I have had it on top of pizza once and while I liked it, its intense flavor intimidated me (yes, a type of salad green intimidated me). It was on sale at the store and since I’m a sucker for sales, I picked it up with a corn and arugula salad in mind. That idea came and went and a week later I was left with the plastic container of arugula and no plan of what to do with it. After a week in my fridge it wasn’t looking peppy enough to be used in a salad, so I decided to make a pesto out of it.
The pesto was packed with flavor and if you’re on the fence with arugula, I would strongly encourage you to try it this way. The other ingredients tamed down the kick that the greens have on their own, and combined with some fettucini, toasted walnuts, and parmesan cheese, it made my weeknight meal feel fancy and special.
This recipe made a lot of pesto so be prepared to have leftovers. It can be tossed with pasta like I did, on top of grilled chicken, as a sandwich spread, or however else your heart desires!
4-5 cups packed arugula (I used 5 cups)
1/2 cup toasted walnuts
1/3 cup parmesan cheese
1 clove garlic
1 tsp salt
3-4 tbsp olive oil (or more if you want your pesto thinner)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread walnuts on baking sheet and toast 8-10 minutes.
Put arugula into food processor and pulse until processed. I had to do this in batches, continually adding more, as I was working with a teeny tiny food processor. After arugula is processed, add walnuts, parmesan cheese, garlic, and salt and pulse to combine.
Lastly, drizzle in olive oil to combine. Now it’s ready to be used!