Peppery Twist on Pesto: Rocket & Walnut
For a peppery twist, update your pesto recipe with a new classic: arugula and walnut!
Serve tossed over fresh pasta or rubbed on toasty bread with a ribbon of Parmesan, a delicious topping for pizza or a beautiful frittata with a dollop of arugula pesto! Pesto with endless possibilities...
I love using arugula, rocket or ruccola (depending on where you're from), not only for the peppery kick but also because it grows much faster & heartier in our garden than basil. Which means we can make it over & over again!!
Arugula Walnut Pesto
pesto di ruccola
2 big handfuls of arugula, cleaned
1-2 cloves garlic
small handful of walnuts, crushed
extra virgin olive oil, as needed
lemon juice of half - 1 full lemon
small handful parmesan cheese, grated
salt & pepper to taste
With this recipe you play with the amount of ingredients based on your likes & the strength of the garlic, arugula, etc.
Best to use a mortar & pestle but if you don’t have one the food processor works just fine.
In the mortal & pestle or the processor start off with your arugula and a drizzle of oil to get it working. Once pulverized add in 1 clove of garlic & continue to grind. Now add in your nuts, lemon juice and a bit of salt & pepper & give it one more grind. At this point abandon the mortal & pestle or the machine & dump the mixture into a bowl.
Add a small handful of cheese and while continuously mixing add in the olive oil until you achieve your desired consistency. For crostini I would leave as a paste, for a pasta sauce keep it a bit looser - this is all based on the amount of olive oil you use.
Now recheck your seasonings - more garlic? A little light on the acid? Add a squeeze of lemon. Is it flat? A pinch of salt will wake it up. Let sit for an hour or so to let the flavors incorporate. Store in the fridge. It will last a few days before the arugula will turn.
Serve tossed over fresh pasta or rubbed over toasty bread with a ribbon of parmesan, a delicious topping for pizza or a beautiful frittata with a dollop of arugula pesto! There are a million ways to use this - enjoy!
For more recipes from our farmhouse in Italy visit our Recipe Box at La Tavola Marche: http://www.latavolamarcherecipebox.blogspot.com
So glad you have discovered this combo too.
Been making it myself for quite a while now & it always goes down well with guests.
I grow/use Rocket a lot so have plenty of it around (Basil less so)......try other nuts with it too.........toasted hazelnuts are fab (I have a lot of Hazel trees too!)
hazelnuts and ruccola this is new for me, I have discovered I was allergic to walnuts, I could try this instead
Hazelnuts have a pronounced flavour & so aren't to everyone's taste, but I like them with rocket because the sweetness & the earthiness of the nut brings out the pepperiness of the rocket.
If the Hazelnuts are a bit too strong, don't dismiss them altogether, just put a few in with conventional pinenuts & the flavour will be more subtle.