I've got nothing against salad. During summer when it's still light out at 8 o'clock and I can leave the windows wide open I'll make dinner salads for nights straight. That being said, when it's cold and rainy and I get home from work after dark a light, crisp salad is the last thing I want. When I got the beautiful arugula in my CSA box I had the best intentions of creating a nice spicy salad, but a week later my greens were looking wilty and I still wasn't in the mood for a cold dinner.
Always the brilliant idea guy, Ryan suggested I make a pesto with our arugula. After spending some time on Google pouring over recipes I found a blog called In My Kitchen Garden whose writer, Farmgirl Susan, had a similar quest on her hands in the Spring of 2006: Searching for the Best Arugula Pesto Recipe. I followed her recipe almost exactly (I say almost because I never measure out my greens, I just throw them in) and I added some fresh lemon juice to balance out the spice. The pesto was thick and hearty. I warmed it up and tossed it with some whole wheat penne and sliced chicken breast and it was a fantastic (and warm) meal for a cold February night.
Farmgirl Susan's blog also has some great ideas for what to do with the pesto beside just tossing it with pasta. She also has a recipe for an arugula pesto pizza that I will definitely try sometime soon.
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