Maybe you are throwing a New Year’s Eve party? Or are attending one and need to bring a little somethin’-somethin’? OR you want to add yet another appetizer recipe to your arsenal. If any or all of these are true, I’ve got just the thing: Arugula Walnut Pesto.
I love regular basil pesto, but I wanted to switch it up a bit and go for a different flavor. This version is wonderful, spreadable deliciousness with a bite – courtesy of the arugula that is a touch on the bitter side.
Two warnings about this recipe:
1. I’m going to present you with indications rather than hard-and-fast instructions. You guys cool with that? I thought so.
2. The determine the amount of garlic you should use, please refer to this handy scale:
Use 1 clove: if you would still like to talk in close proximity to others after eating this stuff.
Use 2 cloves: if you would like to breathe a tiny bit of fire and your compatriots are garlic-understanding.
Use 3 cloves: if you would like to melt the paint off your walls.
Got it? Good. Here we go:
What You Need:
1 package arugula
2 cloves garlic (I only had Toby to entertain for the evening)
Extra Virgin olive oil – about a half a cup, but you might want to use more or less
Grated Parmesan cheese – about 3/4 cup
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (you can always leave these out if you can’t eat or don’t want nuts)
What To Do:
In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, chop up your walnuts. Remove the walnuts from the processor and place in the arugula, half the olive oil and garlic. Pulse to process finely. Check the consistency. You will most likely need to add a bit more oil (throw in the rest). You can also add the cheese, salt and pepper. Give it a few more twirls in the processor and check both the consistency and taste. Is it dry? If so, add more oil. You can also add more salt, pepper or cheese if you feel it’s necessary.
Once you have got it all worked out, put the walnuts back in and combine. Scoop the entire mixture into a bowl and drizzle a blanket of olive oil over the top. You can either serve immediately on some toasted bread or you can stick it in the fridge and save it for later.
Now go get those sparkly heels on, and get to the party. You too, John!