The basil and pine nut pesto you probably know, or at least have heard of, comes from the Ligurian region of Italy. It’s a beautiful mixture of fresh basil, extra virgin olive oil and pine nuts.
“Pesto” means “to pound” in Italian because pesto is traditionally made with a mortar and pestle and literally pounded until the right consistency is achieved.
These days, we can use a food processor to speed it all up a bit because TIME, people, who has the freaking TIME? If you do (have the time, that is) I recommend the mortar and pestle routine. It’s very theraputic.
But I digress. Let’s get back to the pesto. I do love a traditional basil and pine nut pesto. But pine nuts. They are expensive. It’s about $16 per nut (slight exaggeration), and sometimes I don’t want to dump my entire wallet into either the food processor or the mortar.
So, I grab other nuts. You can make a delicious pesto with many different nuts (I do tend to stay away from peanut, as I believe this nut is best reserved for butter). One of my current favorites is this Walnut and Arugula Pesto.
- They’re large and oily!
- They have a mild flavor that doesn’t overpower the other ingredients.
- I love bitter greens!
- Arugula is a great way to add just a touch of that bitter flavor to your dishes, a lá a pesto.
- Oh yes, it’s one of the flavors, and necessary for contrast in many dishes. I’m not the only one that thinks so. Just ask Samin Nosrat.
What kind of pizza would I put this pesto on? Here are some ideas on that:
- Plain with some ricotta cheese, olive oil and sea salt.
- Loaded with figs, prosciutto and goat cheese ( << preferred method alert!).
- With some fresh cherry tomatoes and mozzarella cheese.
You could also schmear this pesto on some salmon and roast said salmon in the oven.
What’s in this DREAM PESTO, you ask?
Not much, to be honest:
- Fresh arugula
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- LOVE (if possible)
Throw all of these things into a food processor and blend until you have a slightly textured PASTE. Get it? PESTO = PASTE.
Then spread it on everything, especially pizza.Print
A delicious twist on a classic pesto recipe, this version uses arugula and walnuts!
- 1 box or bag of fresh arugula
- 1/2 cup walnuts
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1–2 tbsp honey
Blend all the ingredients in a food processor until smooth, but still slightly textured. If the mixture seems too dry, add a little more olive oil.
Taste and adjust for seasoning.
Top your pizza with pesto two ways:
- As a base layer for a white (or in this case green) pizza. Then, layer on top fresh mozzarella or ricotta, along with figs and prosciutto.
- In dollops on top of a crushed tomato sauce base for a green and red pizza!
Keywords: pesto, arugula, arugula pesto, walnut, walnut pesto