Leftover Arugula Pesto

This is kind of an odd title, I admit, but this was something I came up with to use some leftover arugula. I didn’t want to use it raw, like I usually do in pesto, because it had sitten in the fridge a bit too long, so I cooked it briefly. It is vegan, but if you can have Parmesan or Romano you can toss it with some in whatever dish you are making before serving.

4-5 cups arugula
3/4 cup toasted or crispy walnuts
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
6-8 cloves roasted garlic*
freshly ground pepper

Fill a large bowl with ice water. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Put the arugula in the pot and bring just to a boil. Drain, put in ice water ti stop cooking, and drain. Add everything to a food processor and process until smooth.

* To roast garlic, cut tips of the head of garlic and place into a ramekin. Bake at 400 for 30 minutes. Squeeze garlic out of the skin.

Uses for this pesto:

  • Toss with brown rice pasta, steamed asparagus (throw asparagus into cooking pasta just before done), and sauteed scallops
  • Use as a sauce for your favorite pizza crust; top with fresh mozzarella and tomatoes, and/or chicken and artichoke hearts
  • Use it in Asparagus Brie Quesadillas (this was the first meal I ever cooked for my husband!)
  • Spread on hamburger buns, top with goat cheese and roasted red peppers and walnuts
  • Spread on hamburger buns, top with portabello mushrooms marinated in balsamic vinegar and basil, then cooked briefly
  • Toss with roasted chicken
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