Have I mentioned before that I don’t care for basil? There are only a handful of foods I truly do not like (olives are at the top of that list), but basil definitely makes the list. I’ve been ok with conventional (aka basil-based) pestos in the past, but only if they had copious amounts of garlic, cheese, nuts to mostly cover up the basil flavor. Since I’m not currently consuming dairy or nuts, basil pesto does not appeal to me. However, arugula pesto is a whole different story!
My idea for arugula pesto came out of two circumstances. First, I had a container of arugula near the end of it’s life in my refrigerator. Secondly, I was looking for a way to “spice up” some otherwise slightly bland fish filets….
I experimented by throwing arugula, cilantro (parsley would also work), garlic, lemon & oil into one of my blender cups & blended everything together. The pesto turned our borderline-bland fish to something fantastic. Not to mention that the nutritional value was increased by the extra greens & herbs.
After that first meal, I also discovered the leftover pesto was delicious on all sorts of things….. Melted over a ground meat skillet meal. Stirred into a bowl of steaming hot soup. Tossed with roasted potatoes (or other roasted veggies). Served alongside chicken as a dipping sauce.
Now I’m buying arugula specifically to make this pesto, instead of relying on leftovers. I foresee keeping a jar of this magical, nutritious sauce in our refrigerator at all times & continuing to add a dollop to all sorts of things… I’m thinking perhaps zucchini noodles/zoodles & shrimp next!
yields one small jar
Note: I make single jars of this sauce by blitzing everything in my Ninja blender's smoothie cup. If you plan to make it in a larger blender vessel or in a large food processor, I’d recommend doubling the ingredient amounts.
1 1/2 packed cups (approximately 54 g) Arugula
1/3 packed cup (approximately 10 g) Cilantro (leaves + stems is fine)
1 peeled clove of garlic
1/3 c (74 g) Olive Oil
1 heaping tsp Lemon Zest
1 Tbl + 1 tsp Lemon Juice (fresh is best)
1/4 tsp Kosher Salt
- Add all the ingredients to small blender vessel or food processor.
- Process until all the arugula & cilantro are well chopped & blended.
- Pour into a small glass jar (I used a Weck jar); the color will darken/turn a bit more olive-toned over time. Store in the refrigerator. Serve cold or bring to room temperature before serving.
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