Wednesday, June 22, 2011

garden pesto

arugula harvest

arugula pesto

penne with arugula pesto

every year, i like to try my hand at growing a few new plants.  this year, one of those was arugula.  i planted these arugula seeds practically as soon as the snow melted outside, which here in minneapolis was not until the third week in april.  we've been getting so much lettuce so far this year (including some that has volunteered for the second year in a row, after i let it go to seed in 2009!) that i practically forgot to pick the arugula for salads.  as some of it was starting to bolt, and as i was starting to think about planting the rest of my beans in their place, i knew i needed a recipe that would use up my modest arugula crop.  pesto it was!  this arugula pesto was delicious and simple to whip up after a long day at work.  i based the recipe on my standard basil pesto recipe (which is vegan), with a few adjustments. i hope you enjoy it!

and next up...garlic scape pesto!

spring arugula pesto

2 cups (packed) fresh arugula leaves
3 cloves garlic
1/3 cup walnuts
1/3 cup olive oil
1 tsp salt (or more, to taste)
fresh ground pepper to taste

heat a small skillet over medium heat and toast the walnuts, stirring occasionally to make sure they don't burn.  this should take about 10 minutes, or until they begin to smell fragrant (alternatively, this can be done in the oven if you already have it turned on-for about 10-15 minutes).  put the arugula, garlic, and walnuts in a blender or food processor and blend until finely chopped.  while the blender/food processor is running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil.  add the salt and ground pepper to taste.  this recipe made about 7 ounces of pesto, or approximately enough for 2 pounds of pasta. 

i'll admit i've been terrible at keeping up with my garden journal, but here are a few notes from the past week or two:
::lots of strawberries and lettuce are ready to be picked, and a few peas are ripe too!
::the peacevine and sungold tomato plants each have a few small green tomatoes, and most of the others are beginning to flower
::garlic scapes are appearing, must remember to pick them soon.
::i pulled out all the arugula, and radishes (only got a handful) and need to plant the rest of my beans there.
::harvested a few green onions for black sesame otsu, so delicious.
::the lavender is beginning to flower. my absolute favorite.


  1. Thanks for a lovely recipe. I wanted to say that I've only just discovered your site but I've spent an evening reading through it and plan to come back regularly. It's lovely and so informative. My husband's a professional gardener and I'm a keen (non-glove wearing!) home gardener so I'm delighted to have found you.

  2. We discovered cilantro pesto after our cilantro grew taller than my children. I make it just like basil pesto, freeze it and then add it to salsa I make when the tomatoes are ripe.