Monday, July 11, 2011

Arugula-Macadamia Nut Pesto

The slightly bitter and peppery taste of arugula is one that not all people enjoy. I, however, love the flavor and it is often my green of choice in salads and sandwhiches. Arugula pesto isn't a breakthrough in the pesto family, but it also isn't a common one I see a lot.

This arugula pesto has a moderately sharp bite with buttery notes and a fruity finish. The macadamia nuts play add a subtle richness alongside the freshness of extra virgin olive oil, parmesan cheese, and light zings of lemon.

Enjoy this as a spread on bruschetta or as a pasta sauce-- just as I did for lunch today on top of whole-wheat rotini noodles. I also had a dollop on top of my soft scrambled eggs this morning for breakfast. Two servings of arugula pesto in one day? A great way of getting in the greens.

Arugula-Macadamia Pesto

*makes about 1 1/2 cups of pesto

3 1/2 cups of packed arugula leaves (washed and dried)
1/4 cup dry-roasted macadamia nuts 
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
juice of half a lemon (about 2 tbsp)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/3-1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1. Place all ingredients, except for the olive oil, into a food processor. Pulse the mixture a few times to break up the arugula and combine the ingredients. With the processor running, drizzle in the extra virgin olive oil until a desired consistency is reached. Season with additional salt and pepper  to taste, if needed.

2. This will keep in the fridge for 2-3 days. Store in an air-tight container and drizzle more olive oil on top before sealing the container. 

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