We still have fantastic garlic scapes in our refrigerator, which we harvested in June! We also have a large patch of arugula in one of our gardens which self seeded and is growing well despite the fact it’s December in zone 5 – we’re having THAT mild of a winter! So I decided to make pesto tonight. I gathered the rest of the ingredients from the store – plus garlic from our root cellar – and threw this recipe together. I’ve made pesto many, many times but don’t stick to one recipe. I use what’s available from the garden, what’s on-hand, and what looks good at the store.
I call it the power of pesto because no matter what variety of ingredients are combined it’s always fresh and healthy, packed with flavor, and easy to make! Pow!!
The Power of Pesto Recipe
Blend greens + nuts or seeds + olive oil + seasonings - and presto - you have pesto!
Pesto is so quick and easy, it can be whipped up before the pasta water is even boiling!
2 cups of mild, broad leafed arugula
2 cups of basil leaves
1 tablespoon of fresh oregano leaves
Sprigs of cilantro
3 garlic cloves
1/2 cup of chopped garlic scapes
1/2 cup of walnuts
2 Tbsp of olive oil
Splash of lemon juice
Sea salt and black pepper to taste
Place everything in a blender or food processor and blend well, stopping occasionally to scrape down ingredients with a spatula.
Right before serving mix in a splash of hot pasta water to warm up the pesto and thin it out.
Any combination of fresh greens can be used such as basil, parsley, cilantro, baby kale or spinach, arugula, oregano, dandelion greens, garlic scapes, turnip or beet greens, carrot or radish tops. Use your imagination.
The garlic can be raw or roasted.
A variety of nuts and seeds can be used including pistachios, pine nuts, almonds, hazelnuts, cashews, walnuts, sunflower and pumpkin seeds. The nuts/seed can be raw or pan toasted.
Some recipes call for more olive oil, but I prefer to skimp on the amount of olive oil since the nuts/seeds already contain oil. The pesto can be thinned, if necessary using a splash of hot pasta water or veggie broth.