By David Cohlmeyer
Makes 4 servings
You do not need to wait until summer basil season to savour the joy of pesto. This is another great pesto to toss with pasta. You can also use it as a spread on toast, over roasted potatoes, as the sauce on pizza, to garnish grilled fish, or as an amazing vegetable dip.
While you are cleaning and drying the arugula, start the walnuts and garlic roasting.
1/2 cup walnut halves
4 cloves garlic, peeled
3 cups arugula, cress or mustard, or a combination, rinsed and dried
Finely grated zest of 1/2 lemon
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1/4 tsp sea salt
3/4 cup (approx) extra virgin olive oil
Put the walnuts and garlic on a small baking sheet. Bake in a preheated 350º F toaster oven until fragrant and lightly browned, about 5 minutes. (Alternately, toast the walnuts and garlic in a dry frying pan over medium heat until fragrant and lightly browned, about 5 minutes, taking care not to burn the nuts.) Transfer immediately to a plate to cool.
In the bowl (or jar) of a food processor or heavy-duty blender, process (or blend) the walnuts, garlic and arugula until coarsely chopped. Process (or blend) in the lemon zest, lemon juice, cheese and salt. Run the processor (or blender) as you slowly drizzle in the oil until the mixture is thickened, somewhat like mayonnaise. Use the pesto immediately or promptly transfer it into a jar and refrigerate, covered, for up to one week.