Wednesday, June 18, 2008

arugula pesto

One of my favorite restaurants in San Francisco is Greens. When carnivores like my Texan father and my Midwestern stepfather ask me exactly what it is that I eat, I always want to drag them to Greens for a hearty meal. Anyway, for a while they had these potato pancakes with arugula pesto that were just to die for. I have tried to re-create the pesto three times, each time failing-- once, too much garlic (weird), once too many pine nuts-- but today-- today my friends, I hit gold... or perhaps I should say I hit green.

This pesto tastes green. I don't know how else to describe it. It is verdant, vibrant, sharp, and well, spring-y. It would be a perfect compliment to some crusty San Francisco sourdough or a simple farfalle salad with cherry tomatoes, or maybe mashed with some fresh peas as a ravioli filling-- but tonight we are embracing our farmers' market, and drizzling it over a tower of portobello mushroom caps, grilled red onion disks, and thin rounds of sweet potato, and roasted corn on the cob.

about 4 C of fresh arugula (sometimes called rocket)
1 clove garlic
1 t to 1 T fresh lemon juice, to taste
a good fruity olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste

Put all the arugula in your food processor with a smashed garlic clove and add the lemon juice, a generous glug of olive oil, and season liberally with salt and pepper. Pulse a few times until most of the leaves have broken down, then give it a whir while drizzling in oil to your desired texture. You could certainly stir is some finely grated pecorino cheese at the end but I think the taste of the arugula is simply perfect on its own.

Edited to add: I couldn't resist adding a photo of my farmers' market dinner. The portobellas weren't uniformly sized enough to make towers, and my sweet potatoes had sadly gone bad, so I modified my idea to the above plate-- red onions brushed with olive oil, seasoned with salt and pepper, and broiled, mushrooms sauteed in garlic and olive oil, arugula pesto, and fresh sweet corn roasted in its husk. YUM.

1 comment:

krysten said...

hey! i didnt realize that rocket was really arugula! hunh.