I’ve been eating arugula since January, and now the crop is finially finishing up and going to seed. It will self-seed and I should have another crop later this year without my having to do anything. Which is one of the many reasons I love growing arugula.
I’ve been experimenting with cooking and freezing arugula, and finding what I like to use it in besides salads. So far I find it’s too bitter when by itself as a cooked green, but it makes a good addition to a dish. I also tried freezing it by itself, and I’ll see how that works and report back.
Also, I tried arugula pesto for the first time. Several recipes were too spicy, until I discovered this recipe, which has you roast the garlic in a pan and microwave the nuts (instant roasted nuts taste with less work!), softening the flavors and making a very nice pesto.
Since pesto freezes great, I made a doube batch and stuck it in the freezer to use later on pastas, pizzas, sandwiches, and so on. Of course, you can also use it right away on fresh pasta, too.
Here is my slightly modified version of this recipe.
Arugula and Walnut Pesto
(Enough sauce for 4 people)
2 c packed arugula leaves
1/2 c walnuts
1/2 c fresh parmesan cheese
1/3-1/2 c olive oil
6 garlic cloves, unpeeled
To clean the arugula, fill a bowl with water and swish the leaves around. Remove, carefully blot with a paper towel or run through a salad spinner. Repeat twice more.
In a pan, brown the garlic cloves in their peels over medium high head, until the garlic is lightly brown and soft inside, about 10 minutes. Once they have cooled, remove the skins.
Heat the nuts in the microwave for two minutes, which gives them a roasted flavor. Great trick!
Put the aurgula, walnuts, and garlic in a food processor. Pulse while adding 1/3 cup of olive oil. Taste the pesto and add more oil as needed. I found that 1/2 cup was too oily for me and 1/3 cup was a little dry, so ended somewhere in between.
Add cheese and a dash of salt. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Enjoy!