Mill City Cooks

Arugula Walnut Pesto

By Chef Heather Hartman

Makes 2 cups

Ingredients
1/2 cup walnuts
2 bunches arugula (1/2 pound), large stems discarded
4 garlic cloves, smashed
1/4 pound Manchego cheese, coarsely shredded
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Method

Preheat the oven to 350°. Put the walnuts in a pie plate and toast for about 8 minutes, or until golden and fragrant. Let cool completely.

In a food processor, pulse the arugula leaves with the toasted walnuts and smashed garlic cloves until finely chopped. Add the shredded Manchego cheese, lemon zest and juice and pulse until combined. With the machine on, add the olive oil in a steady stream and process to a smooth paste. Season the pesto with salt and pepper, transfer to a bowl and serve.

Serve this with Poached Wild Salmon, or Chicken. Also wonderful tossed with pasta, or stirred into finished risotto.

Will last in fridge up to 2 days. Cover with plastic wrap directly on pesto, and then cover tightly with a lid.

Walnuts have often been thought of as a “brain food,” not only because of the wrinkled brain-like appearance of their shells, but also because of their high concentration of omega-3 fats.