I’ve only had a vegetable garden for a couple of years and I’m still quite the amateur, but I’ve resolved to plant a couple of new crops every month possible. There’s not much you can start in July, but I did manage to plant green beans and arugula. A month later, my green beans are blooming already, and it’s time to thin the arugula for the final time. I got such a huge handful of baby arugula that I thought it was a shame to throw it in the compost bin. Since basil is doing so well in my garden right now, pesto was an obvious thing to make. I just needed to snip the roots off the arugula with kitchen shears. The first nuts I found in the freezer were pecans, so I used those. Usually black pepper doesn’t go in pesto, but I like the way it complements the peppery taste of the arugula.
Once of the easiest way to toast nuts is in a toaster oven. Put them on a baking sheet and use the same setting you would for medium toast. They’ll be perfect every time.
2 tablespoons toasted pecans
1 small clove garlic, thinly sliced
1/3 cup arugula leaves, packed
1/3 cup basil leaves, packed
3 tablespoons olive oil
a grind or two of black pepper
1/4 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
10 ounces spaghetti
Grind the pecans in a food processor. Add garlic and pulse to mince. Add arugula and basil and chop well. While the motor is running add the olive oil in a steady stream. Stop and scrape down the sides of the food processor bowl and add the salt and pepper. Continue processing until pesto is smooth.
Cook spaghetti according to package directions. Drain and toss immediately with all of the pesto.
Makes lots. (4 to 5 servings, I think.)
*The amazon link shows that the book is out of print, but if you’re in Houston, it should still be available at local nurseries.