This is a robust alternative to traditional basil pesto. It works great as a sandwich spread, mixed in with pasta, or dressed up with chicken or grilled fish. I like making it in lieu of traditional basil pesto when basil is unavailable or particularly expensive. This is super easy and great to keep around for a snack. My Argentine/Italian roommate and I often eat it with baguette or sourdough bread for a mid-afternoon pick me (it passes the Italian test! He loves this version.)
5 cups firmly packed arugula (this is like spinach but spicier. It comes in a bag like spinach.)
1/2 cup firmly packed parsley
1/2 cup slivered almonds (can substitute pine nuts or other finely chopped nuts)
Juice of 1 lemon
9 garlic cloves, crushed or minced (use less for less punch)
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1. Combine the arugula, parsley, almonds, lemon juice and garlic in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Pulse several times until a paste forms, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
2. Slowly add the olive oil, with the motor running. Or you can add the olive oil in parts, the pulse the mixture in between.
3. Add the parmesan, salt, pepper (lay off this for less punch) and pulse several times until well mixed. Refrigerate in an air tight container until ready to use.
To preserve the color of this pesto and keep fresher for a week or more, add a Vitamin C tablet to step one.