Since I've had an abundance of arugula lately, even after asking the neighbors to come and pick some, I had the (it turned out not so uniquely) brilliant idea of making Arugula Pesto. Checking the interweb for recipes, and coming across Susan's exhaustive post on Arugula Pesto, including her use of it on Pizza, I thought "Bingo", my answer! A few friends came over for lunch yesterday, and that's what we had, plus Nancy brought Lillikoi chiffon pie for dessert. Which was excellent, I might add.
Seeing as the arugula and some basil I tossed in, came from our garden, this will be my post for the July round of GYO (Grow Your Own), hosted by Amy of Playing House. I also topped the pizzas with crumbled feta, which had been brining 4 weeks. So, this marked its debut.
I confess to using some 7" frozen, gluten free, pizza crusts. Is that totally cheating? Anyway, I did make the feta and the arugula pesto myself, so there. Put all 4 crusts onto a pizza oven rack and spread on the pesto, then topped with slivers of red bell pepper, a beautiful contrast to the green arugula. They baked 15 minutes at 375F and then were topped with crumbles of rinsed feta and slices of Kalamata olives.
I didn't even get the gluten free on purpose. Just grabbed pizza crusts, without looking closely, on a run past the frozen section. Though, being in a natural foods store, i should have known. But, they were surprisingly (for me anyway) good, very light with a slightly nutty flavor. We all loved them.
The Feta was nearly perfect also. A little holey, kind of a Swiss Feta? As I mentioned in that earlier post, it could probably stand with a firmer pressing.
Arugula PestoWhich will also be fabulous stirred into some Pasta. In which case, we'll be calling it Arugula Pesto Pasta. You guessed correctly.
2-3 cups arugula leaves
1/4 cup basil leaves (optional)
4-5 cloves sliced garlic (mine were blanched first, but you can use them raw or saute lightly)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup pine nuts
3 oz. grated Parmesan cheese or Romano (about 3/4 cup)
1/3 cup olive oil
salt to taste
Put everything into the container of your Food Processor and whirl, while drizzling in the olive oil. Add the salt after, to taste.