real life test kitchen: arugula lemon pesto

arugula1
pesto

Wondering what I did with all of those lemons? Well, honestly, not as much as I wanted to. There were so many fantastic suggestions, and I really wanted to try them all (though I did use Elizabeth and Morgan’s tip and froze some of the juice for later), but I ended up mostly using them here and there. Two in a roasted chicken, a couple in some tea, and more than once, I made arugula lemon pesto. This peppery, bright, and verdant sauce is like a kick-start of fresh springy flavor when we’re still waiting for the ground to thaw. I love it on just about anything: pasta of course, with some capers and smoked salmon, as a sauce for a spanish style pizza with shaved manchego cheese and jamon serrano, or just spooned on top of grilled halibut or some goat cheese. It’s never around for too long, which is why I generally make a double batch and freeze one for later. — Megan B. Click for the recipe, after the jump!
Arugula Lemon Pesto
2 c packed arugula leaves
1/4 c toasted pine nuts (I like walnuts or pecans too — I often use what I’ve got lying around)
2 lemons, zested, and the juice of one
4 cloves of garlic, smashed
1 2 oz. tin of anchovies in olive oil (it’s so worth it — but if you’re squeamish use a teaspoon of vegetarian Worchestershire sauce or soy sauce)
1/4 c finely grated parmesan cheese
1/2 c extra virgin olive oil (plus more to cover for storage)

In a food processor, combine the arugula, garlic, anchovies, nuts, and lemon zest/ juice. Pulse to combine until smooth. Scrape down the sides, add the parmesan, and with the machine running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Taste, and season with salt if necessary (you may not need to with the anchovy). Transfer to a jar and pour enough olive oil to cover the surface of the pesto. Use within two weeks, or freeze for up to two months.

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