The closest thing to a New Year’s resolution that Frank or I made this year was a commitment to eat more greens. And we have definitely succeeded. If we are what we eat, my appendix must be made of baby spinach by now. But despite our dedicated efforts, at the end of most weeks, we’ve got some bunch of mopey, un-salad-worthy greens hiding in the back of our refrigerator.
So I’m adding an addendum to my eat-more-greens commitment. To find a use for the greens that don’t make it into the salad rotation. And here is my latest favorite use – pesto. It was a bit of a revelation to me to realize that pesto is not the exclusive domain of basil and pine nuts. Until now, pesto always felt a bit precious to me since a) basil is a fleeting seasonal herb and b) both pine nuts and basil are expensive. But since I started making pesto mash-ups with inexpensive ingredients that we always have on hand (not the least of which are past-their-prime greens), I’ve got more pesto than I know what to do with.
Many combinations would work, but I highly recommend this combination of arugula and pecans. The arugula has a peppery bite and the pecans are slightly sweet and buttery – no need to toast them, they are perfect raw. I added parmigiano reggiano because, well, this. And olive oil to bring it all together. A clove of garlic is good too, if you’re so inclined.
I know it’s still wintery cold where many of you are, so hopefully something fresh and green is in order. Please know I’m sending the warmest of thoughts your way.
And really, I do mean the warmest.
- 12 oz (5 heaping cups) arugula leaves
- ⅔ cup pecans
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 oz Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, broken up into pieces
- ½ cup olive oil
- salt, to taste
- Pulse the first four ingredients (through the cheese) in a food processor until broken up. Turn the food processor on and blend while slowly adding the olive oil. Continue blending until it becomes smooth and spreadable, adding more olive oil if needed. Add salt, to taste. Pesto will keep up to a week covered in the refrigerator.