Sunday, February 27, 2011

Rocket pesto

I've got a lot of thing to talk about, I'll jump back to Tuesday though. I took the day to get some housework done and some cooking done before working the next two days. I whipped up another batch of broccoli soup to take for lunches and froze half of it for some dinner in the likely near future.
Arugula, also known as Rocket!
I also pulled a bag of arugula out of the fridge. It needed to be eaten, but we had a ton of lettuce cut up for salads for the week already, so I poked around for another way to use it up.
I decided on an arugula pesto, to be tossed with hot pasta, real stuff this time! Since I was in the middle of a cooking fest of sorts, I altered a recipe to fit what I had on hand and it came out really well. Really thick with a mild bite from the arugula, balanced out by the parmesan cheese. 

I think the best thing about a pesto sauce is how easy it makes a meal. Take whatever vegetables or meat you want, or skip them. Saute them until they are done, then add your freshly cooked pasta with a little of the cooking water to thin the pesto out some and you've got a meal. I used some boneless chicken thighs and some delicata squash. The recipe makes a good amount of sauce, so I was able to freeze half of it for a future meal as well.

All in all a good day for fresh food and stocking up my freezer!

Rocket Pesto

Adapted from DigginFood

4 cups of packed arugula leaves
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup parsley
1/2 cup toasted pecans
1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Bring a pot of water to a boil and prepare a bowl of water with ice cubes. Very quickly drop the arugula in the boiling water, blanching it for about 15 seconds. Immediately remove it from the boiling water and place it in the ice water, cooling it completely. Drain the arugula and squeeze it as dry as you can.
In a food processor, blend the arugula, garlic, parsley, pecans, and Parmesan cheese into a smooth paste. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Then, with the blade running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Process until the olive oil is thoroughly incorporated and the pesto is smooth. Give the pesto a taste and add salt and pepper to taste.

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