Arugala & Parsley Pesto
So…confession time. I’m a foodie. I’m 34. And this is the FIRST time I’ve made pesto.
In college I had a close encounter with a deli slicer and I’ve been irrationally fearful of blades ever since. I used to do all my vegetable chopping with a steak knife! I had an immersion blender (complete with attachments!) that sat unopened in my cupboard for 2 years!
My fear was overtaken by hunger one day in 2012, when my blender gave out on me and I had a pot full of sweet potatoes and broth ready to puree into a soup…with no tools in sight! (Un)fortunately, my husband remembered my immersion blender…and I had to admit my fear!
He (a NON-cooking food lover), plugged it in and blended my soup. I was shamed out of my fear. I was the cook! Therefore, I had to get comfortable with blades. That was the beginning of butcher knives, chefs’ knives, immersion blenders, and food processors! And thank goodness—or this recipe would never have been born.
And why arugula and parsley? Great question—it’s what happened to be growing in the garden. And there’s only so much salad I can eat in cool weather…but pesto? That’s another story! And there are a couple of dietary reasons you want to include these fresh greens in your life.
ARUGULA & PARSLEY—ACK!!!
Don’t worry, these greens aren’t scary. I’m talking about Vitamins A, C, and K! While the Vitamin A in these two plants is actually in the form of beta-carotene, the amount of good fat in this recipe will allow your body to synthesize vitamin A and (among other things) support your immune system. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps prevent damage to cells. Vitamin K is necessary for healthy blood clotting—very important if you’re a chef who is prone to cutting yourself accidentally (1, 2) Parsley also contains the B vitamin folic acid for heart and pre-pregnancy health (source).
Arugula & Parsley Pesto (Yields approximately 1 cup of pesto)
- 1/2 cup. Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 2 cups packed equal parts arugula & parsley (about 3 oz. total)
- 1/4 c. (about 1 oz.) sprouted almonds
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2/3 c. your favorite olive oil (I used basil infused olive oil)
- unrefined salt
- food processor (I used this one, but a full-sized one would be awesome, too!)
- salad spinner (for the herbs)
- Wash and dry your greens
- Grate and measure the cheese.
- Add greens and almonds in layers (a little greens, some almonds, repeat.)
- Pulse until the mixture is coarsely chopped.
- Add the cheese and half the olive oil.
- Process 10-30 seconds (relatively smooth), then stop and add the rest of the olive oil.
- Blend until smooth.
- Transfer to a bowl and taste. Add salt to your liking. Start with 1/8 tsp. and add in small increments until it’s perfect for you.
While the pesto is quite strong raw/fresh, when it is warmed from the residual heat of any pasta (my favorite rice pasta can be found HERE) or veggies you serve it with, the flavor mellows and turns buttery and rich.
The pesto can be used to top veggies, baked potatoes, and it makes a great dip for fresh veggies the next day! Or, if you’re like me, you may just eat it by the spoonful!
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