Out of all the greens you can use to make pesto, arugula is by far my favorite. There are different ways to make it. If you are planning to freeze it or simply save it for a long period of time, I suggest you blanch the leaves. Why? It will help maintain the pesto. If you don’t blanch the leaves, it might turn dark; in fact, it will over time.
This recipe is for a small quantity. I make a huge batch of arugula pesto and freeze it in small containers, using one at a time.
I make fettuccine with arugula pesto. Sometimes I add tomatoes, other times I add shrimp as well.
Sauté some minced shallots, add tomatoes or shrimp, then deglaze it with white wine. Incorporate the pasta and pesto. Boom! That is what I call dinner. Well, it was dinner two days ago. It is delicious and simple. The fact that I could make the pesto in advance, makes my life easier.
- 200 g arugula
- 20 g toasted almonds
- 1 head of garlic, roasted, skin removed
- Vegetable oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Bring a large pot filled with water to a boil. Fill a big bowl with ice and cold water. Set aside.
Place the arugula in a colander. Submerge the colander in the pot with boiling water. Blanch the leaves for 20 to 30 seconds. Remove the colander from the pot and submerge it in the iced cold-water bath to stop the cooking process. Place the arugula in a clean towel and squeeze all the liquid out.
In a blender, combine the arugula, almonds, garlic and a couple of spoons of vegetable oil. Purée until smooth. With the blender still running, slowly stream in more vegetable oil until a smooth emulsion forms. Remove the pesto from the blender. Reserve it in a sealed container.
- The initial oil is to help the blender get moving. It won’t mix the ingredients without any liquid.