Here’s a recipe inspired by one of my favorite movies, “My Blue Heaven”. In the movie, the manager of the supermarket asks Vinnie Antonelli (Steve Martin) if he found everything he wanted:
Vinnie: Arugula. I haven’t had arugula in six weeks.
Manager: What’s that?
Vinnie (with his mafia/gangster accent): It’s a ve-get-able.
Oh yes, arugula is a vegetable- and a really good one at that. It’s a peppery/spicy green that makes an amazing pesto. Here’s my recipe (Remember that my recipes should have the word “about” pasted before each ingredient- I just can’t follow the rules…):
2 cups packed, fresh arugula leaves (I throw the soft/pliable stems in too)
½ cup extra virgin olive oil (cold-pressed, organic if possible)
½ cup RAW pine nuts (I like walnuts too)
1 clove garlic (this is a minimum of one clove- roasted garlic is yummy too)
1-2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
A bit of freshly ground pepper and salt to taste
Put all ingredients into blender/food processor and pulse until it reaches the consistency you like (some say to add the oil last- I don’t notice a difference, but feel free to experiment). Use pesto on bruschetta, pizza, mixed with sauteed veggies, in soups, with pastas…
You can keep pesto sealed tight in the fridge for several days or fill pesto into ice cube trays, freeze and then transfer the “pesto cubes” to a sealed container in the freezer. Add frozen pesto right into dishes when heating or thaw in the fridge for use.
A few quick things:
- If you like parmesan in your pesto, only add it if you’re not planning on freezing the pesto (add the cheese into the dish later).
- If you don’t want arugula, try Basil, Parsley or Cilantro.
- You can also experiment with walnuts or almonds instead of pine nuts.
- Try to get organic herbs/greens if possible- they’re all over the farmer’s markets or you can always grow herbs inside (come on over and visit my herb and hot pepper garden in our apartment!).
- Arugula is full of vitamins C & A, folic acid, iron, magnesium, potassium, calcium and more. It was also once considered an aphrodisiac… which leads me to a side note…
This would be a great date night- arugula pesto and “My Blue Heaven”! If you need to go to the store to pick up any of these ingredients, Vinnie Antonelli has a great pickup line for you to use on an unsuspecting shopper or your significant other:
Vinnie: You know it’s dangerous for you to be here in the frozen food section.
Shaldeen: Why is that?
Vinnie: Because you could melt all this stuff.
Happy Arugula eating and movie watching 🙂