This short, but very green video recipe for an almond arugula pesto, shows you one of my favorite uses for the ubiquitous bitter green. I like an arugula salad as much as the next guy, but it's also nice to use the peppery green as something more than a lettuce.
Arugula is also quite a beautiful herb. Fragrant, spicy, crisp; it makes one hell of a good pesto. I paired it with raw almonds for a combo that was just amazing on the grilled hanger steak you can see here. Subtle it's not, but that's okay sometimes.
I know the conventional wisdom with most sauces is that they should compliment the main ingredient, not overpower it. Here, that simply does not apply. Not only does this sauce overpower whatever you serve it with, it obliterates it completely. But, it works!
I've posted the ingredients below, but I beg you not to measure as you make this sauce. This is one recipe that should come out slightly different every time you make it. If that seems like a strange statement, you may be missing one of the most important aspects of cooking – the rewards of randomness.
As you make this pesto, your subconscious will take over, and any variations in the final product will magically benefit whatever your eating this with. Of course, like most of my best theories, I can't prove this.
As I mention in the video, when shopping for the arugula, try and get some fully-grown leaves. That mild, ultra-baby stuff make a nice safe salad, but for a sauce like this you want the dangerous, fully developed flavor of the more mature leave. I hope you give this easy recipe a try. Enjoy!
Large handful of arugula leaves, blanched
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup raw almonds
4 cloves garlic
salt to taste