Today was refrigerator clean out day! You know the day when you realize that you just let a ton of vegetables go bad and to add to the waste of food, you have to clean the mess that it left in the refrigerator. Yuck! Well as I was cleaning out the fridge I saw a bag of arugula that I used for my BLT Pizza and realized if I don’t use it now, it will end up in the compost pile with the rest of the veggies. So what do I do with a bag of arugula? Then I remembered that Chef Dennis from A Culinary Journey with Chef Dennis said that during the Google Chat with Isabel and myself for Recipes from the Garden, he said that he liked to use arugula as pesto. I thought, perfect idea! So I took what he said and ran with it!
The pesto turned out beautiful! I love the bright green color that it has and the favor is magnificent. It’s got a nice peppery flavor from the arugula with a pinch of citrus from the lemon and of course you can’t have pesto without garlic. I have to say I love it! Most people tend to use pine nuts or another kind of nut when making pesto, but I skipped it in this recipe. I know nuts are healthy, but I try to cut back on the fat especially since I used Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
To make the pesto I put all of the ingredients in my Vita-mix blender and processed it until creamy smooth. You could also do this in a food processor, that is normally how I make my pesto. To save on calories, I also used water in the recipe. The water makes it liquefied and you get more dressing without diluting the flavor. Of course I added olive oil since I think it needs the flavor, but I only added two tablespoons in the recipe.
I served my pesto on some fresh tomatoes from my garden, sprinkled with a little Parmesan Cheese, but there are so many ways to use the pesto. Here is a list of just a few ideas I just came up, but the possibilities are endless.
- Drizzle on chicken or pork
- Smear on garlic bread and top with tomatoes
- Brush on roasted vegetables or vegetable kabobs
- Mix into pasta
- Drizzle onto sautéed vegetables
- Smear on a sandwich
- Dip pita chips in it
- Top on scrambled eggs
- Add to a salad
- Serves: 1½ cups
- Serving size: 2 tbsp (12 servings)
- 1 large clove garlic
- 4 cups arugula (I used 6oz bag)
- 1½ tbsp. lemon juice
- ¼ cup water
- ¼ tsp. salt (more to taste)
- ¼ cup Parmesan Cheese
- 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- In a blender or food processor, add garlic, arugula, lemon juice and water. Process until it becomes a creamy liquid. Add salt and parmesan cheese and process until combined; slowly pour in the olive oil.
- Refrigerate until ready to use.
As much as I don’t like refrigerator clean out day, you just never know what creation you may come up with, with the ingredients you have leftover. I am looking so forward to drizzling my pesto on tonight’s dinner! Thinking veggie kabobs! Yum!
Hope you have a fabulous day!