Arugula Pesto

pasta-with-arugula-pesto

If my 10-year-old self could see me now, I wonder what she’d say.

I was a picky eater with a pretty developed flavor palate. My parents are foodies, but at 10, I was anything but. My parents had a rule that we had to try everything. We couldn’t just stick out our tongue. I remember several evenings around the family dinner table where it was a total battle of wills to just take a bite of the mahi mahi or two bites of the curry. Who knew?

At age 10, all I wanted was a crunchy iceberg salad at dinner. Instead, I had a plate of mesclun and arugula greens. I remember the requests to “finish the arugula on the plate and then….” I didn’t believe in arugula at age 10. Why does this strange lettuce have to have so much flavor?! Arugula, really?? Who knew that I would grow up to be this person that seeks out arugula. Heck, I even grow arugula on my fire escape! That’s how much I love it!

In the off season, I tend to buy the bags of baby arugula from Trader Joe’s. Arugula is in season now – as are a variety of other greens. And I’m in salad green heaven.

Arugula is a fantastic green characterized by its amazing slightly peppery flavor. It’s also sometimes called roquette or rocket greens.

fresh-arugula

Last week, as I came upon the farmer’s market outside my office, I spotted some beautiful greens and I had to have them. I eagerly bought two bunches. Of course, when I came home and picked up my CSA, there were a couple more bunches. This whole lot of arugula was in addition to a bag of baby arugula sitting in my fridge. Um. I think I had more arugula that I needed. I mean, I love salads, but this much arugula was making me twitchy.

I decided to make a pesto out of the greens. My husband usually turns down a basil pesto, but I had a hunch that the lighter flavor of the arugula leaves would be more to his liking. And I was right!

I washed and dried a few cups of the greens and pulsed it in my Cuisinart along with some garlic, lemon juice, pine nuts, salt, pepper and olive oil. It took all of two minutes.

Arugula-cuisinart

I added the pesto to some pappardelle that I tossed with some sautéed shallots, garlic, mushrooms, chickpeas and additional lemon juice. I sprinkled on some red pepper flakes and ground black pepper and dinner was served. Dinner was a success. I stored the rest of the pesto in my freezer. I am totally making this again. If only arugula season was year-round.

Hope you enjoy this as much as I did!

Arugula Pesto
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 3.5 cups of arugula leaves (you can include some of the stems), washed
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • ½ cup toasted pine nuts
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. fresh ground pepper
  • ¾ cup olive oil
  • additional salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Place everything except for the olive oil in to the bowl of a food processor.
  2. Process everything then slowly pour in the olive oil until everything is processed and mixed together.
  3. Taste the pesto and add additional salt and pepper as needed.
  4. Enjoy! Add this pesto pasta or use as a pizza topping. The options are endless.

Arugula-Pesto-Long-as-Smart-Object-1

 

Roasted Beets and Beet Greens with Pasta

roasted beet pasta900

If you’ve been following along on Facebook and Instagram feed, you probably already know all about my CSA and the amazing produce I get each week. I’ve been getting a weekly share from a local farm called Alstedes. Each week it’s like a foodie birthday present. As I pick up the crate of veggies and farm fresh cage-free eggs, I get a huge smile on my face. What am I going to make first out of all the amazing goodies?

I love beets. I love all kinds of beets. The first box that contained beets had me so happy. I had a bunch of red beets from the farmer’s market in my fridge, so when the golden beets came, I was exuberant. I love to see those rings when you cut in to a beet. They’re just so pretty. And the colors? I love it!

beet rounds

I often simply slice or grate beets and put them in a simple salad or side dish, but I decided to include them in something more substantial for dinner. I also wanted to include the beet tops. Did you know that you could eat beet greens? You totally can! Just wash them and eat them raw in a salad, or you can saute them! They’re fantastic and so good for you!

I started out by roasting my beets. I peeled and sliced the beets thinly and tossed in some olive oil, salt and pepper and placed on a baking sheet. I baked at 415 for about 20 minutes – keeping an eye on them so that they didn’t burn.

I cooked up the pasta, reserving some of the pasta cooking water.

I then sliced up both bunches of washed beet greens.

I toasted some pine nuts, then added some olive oil, chopped onion and garlic to the pan.

Next, I added the greens, some salt and pepper.

I love how fast everything cooks up in this dish. The greens take only a few minutes to wilt.

I tossed the cooked pasta in to the pan with a small amount of the cooking water.

I plated the pasta and greens and served with the amazing roasted beets and some goat cheese. So simple, yet so delicious!



Roasted Beets and Beet Greens with Pasta
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 2 bunches of beets (about 6 medium beets)
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • ½ cup pine nuts
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • Beet Greens from two bunches of beets, washed and sliced
  • additional salt and pepper as needed
  • Goat Cheese
  • parmesan cheese (optional)
  • ¾ pound pasta, cooked according to directions on box (reserving some pasta water)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. Peel and slice the beets in to thin rounds. Toss with some olive oil, salt and pepper and place on baking sheet. Roast in oven for 20 minutes.
  3. Cook pasta according to the directions on the box, reserving some pasta water.
  4. Toast pine nuts in large pan for 2 minutes.
  5. Add in the olive oil, salt, pepper, onions and garlic and saute for 3-5 minutes to soften. Add in the beet greens and saute a couple more minutes.
  6. Mix in the cooked pasta and a couple tablespoons of the pasta cooking water.
  7. Plate the pasta and greens. Top with goat cheese, roasted beet rounds and Parmesan Cheese if desired.
  8. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Enjoy!

 

roastedbeets text

1 2