This is our first year growing arugula, and I have to say I’m impressed with how easy it is to grow. We planted it a box in early September, and within three days we had sprouts. It required little maintenance, just watering. One thing we’ve learned in the process is that arugula gets more peppery as it matures. The leaves had a mild peppery flavor early on, but now some of the larger leaves are downright bitter, so balancing the feisty flavor with spinach seemed the way to go for this pesto. The original recipe at Epicurious.com calls for serving on top of grilled hamburgers, which we did, and the combination of the peppery arugula, garlic, and crushed red pepper makes a great topping for hamburgers or vegan burgers paired with grilled onions and Swiss cheese.
The original recipe calls for quickly wilting the spinach in the microwave, though you could do it in a steamer basket, too. For a time saver, I think the recipe still tastes good when using raw baby spinach.
This is my contribution to Grow Your Own, a blogging event that celebrates the dishes we create from foods we’ve grown, raised, foraged, or hunted ourselves. If you are new to the event, you can read more about the rules for participating at the Grow Your Own page. Submissions for this round are due on October 30, and you can send your information and photo to me at andreasrecipesgyo AT gmail DOT com.
Other Pesto or Condiment Recipes
More Arugula Recipes From Around the Blogs
Simply Recipes – Toasted Turkey Cranberry Arugula Sandwich
Apartment Therapy – Egg, Arugula, and Herb Tartine
large microwave safe bowl or large pan and steamer basket
8 ounces (227 g) baby spinach leaves, rinsed and well-drained
2 cloves garlic, peeled and ends trimmed
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
2 cups (packed) (~2.5 ounces/71 g) fresh arugula leaves
3 tablespoons pine nuts
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup (80 mil) extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
sea salt, to taste
1. Cook the rinsed spinach in the microwave for about 60 to 90 seconds, or steam for about 2 minutes in a steamer basket over hot water. Drain well, squeezing all the liquid out with your hands.
2. Process the garlic, lemon zest, and red pepper in the food processor until the garlic is finely chopped. Add the spinach, arugula, pine nuts, and lemon juice, then process until you have a coarse puree.
3. Gradually add the olive oil, pouring in a slow stream while the machine runs. Stir in the Parmesan cheese and salt to taste. Serve as a topping for grilled hamburgers or vegan burgers.
Source: adapted from Epicurious.com