Earlier this year I had a fair amount of arugula remaining from an event. Because I also had walnuts in my freezer (I keep them there to prevent them from turning rancid), I decided to make pesto—to be used at a later date.
You may remember seeing the arugula pesto as a garnish on my Simple Tomato Soup (at left). Other ways I often use pesto are as a sauce for salmon or chicken, scrambled into eggs, or stirred into cooked rice or pasta for a side dish.
Arugula Walnut Pesto
Makes about 4 pints
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted
8 ounces arugula
1/2 cup grated parmesan
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 lemon, juiced
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup oil (I made one batch with olive oil and one batch with grapeseed oil just for variety)
Preheat oven to 350° F, then spread walnuts on a baking sheet and toast until fragrant (about 5 minutes).
Place nuts, arugula, parmesan, lemon juice, garlic and salt in the bowl of an 8-cup or larger food processor fitted with a metal blade. Pulse until smooth (about 1 minute). With the machine running, slowly pour in the oil in a steady stream through the feeding tube.
Store the pesto in small jars with tight-fitting lids or other air-tight freezer containers. Keep frozen until just before using. Pesto should be used within 10 days if stored in the refrigerator, or 3 months if kept in the freezer.
Tina’s Tip: Another way I often store pesto is to freeze individual portions in greased ice cube trays. Once the pesto portions are frozen, I take them out of the tray and put them a Ziploc bag.