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I love arugula. I love everything about arugula. I love growing arugula (read more about my garden here), I love the colour, the taste, and especially I love that my grocery store almost always has a couple bags extra cheap that are about to expire. These are my favourite because not only do they cost less and help my grocery budget, they also push me to get creative. Seeing their little yellow sale stickers shining out of my fridge gets me thinking of how to I can use it all as soon as possible.

And don’t get me started on expiration dates - A year or so ago I watched movie Dive! about the massive amount of food that gets chucked out by grocery stores. If you haven’t seen it I highly recommend it - it changed the way I look at expiry dates. You can check out the trailer here.

While I can’t say I always follow my dad’s lead of “It doesn’t matter how long its been in the fridge just give it a good sniff” I do try to avoid throwing away food in general. And this sort of brings us back to Arugula.

So what to do with a bag of arugula that is a couple days from the slimy stage? Pesto!

Pesto is the best; it can be put on everything from sandwiches to pizza to pasta and on. Not to mention it is embarrassingly easy.

Just pile arugula, a couple cloves of garlic, toasted pine nuts and grated Parmesan cheese into a food processor. If you have a small food processor like me don’t be afraid to really punch it down in there. Then in goes a sprinkle of salt and a few tablespoons of olive oil and blitz until smooth. Spoon it into a airtight jar and it can live in the fridge for several days (although if you’re like me and love pesto on anything you won’t have to worry).

If you’re food processor-less this can all absolutely be done with a mortar and pestle and you’ll get a nice arm workout to boot.

For the Caprese sandwich I cut open a cibatta bun and put a big dollop of pesto on one side and a smear on the other. On top of that went thick slices of mozzarella and tomato and a big pinch of sea salt. Simplicity at its best. This would also be delicious after a few minutes in the panini press or toasted in a pan on the stove under a weight.

Arugula Pesto

  • 1 bag of arugula, approx. 4 cups
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 3 tbsp toasted pine nuts (see note)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • pinch of salt
  • 3-4 tbsp olive oil 

Combine Arugula, garlic, pine nuts and Parmesan into a food processor. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Slowly add 3-4 tbsp oil while blitzing until the consistency is what you want.

Can be kept sealed in an airtight container for several days.

Note: To toast pine nuts place them in a clean plan over medium high heat. Shake and move the pine nuts until brown and fragrant.