This recipe is the product of a happy summer afternoon at the Stern house. Our dear friend Chef Anne came over to work with the smallish Sterns (now 11 and 13). She taught the boys the ratio of herbs to cheese to nuts that forms the foundation of most successful pesto recipes. She gave the boys a lot of freedom to work with the herbs, cheese and nuts that she’d brought over. I loved all three of the recipes they created and we’ve made this one three times since that happy summer afternoon. This pesto would be great on grilled lamb, chicken or steak. You can toss it with pasta and serve it as a side dish. We served ours with chopped tomatoes and farfalle pasta. Yum.
Arugula Marcona Almond Pesto (makes just under 1 cup)
- 1 cup of fresh arugula leaves, lightly torn
- 2 tablespoons Cotija cheese, crumbled
- 1 tablespoon Marcona almonds
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 2 cloves roasted garlic
- ½ teaspoon salt
To make the roasted garlic, preheat oven to 300 degrees. Take a head of garlic and slice the top off of the head. Place garlic in center of tinfoil square. Pour olive oil over the garlic. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper and dried herbs (if desired). Tightly close the foil. Place garlic in oven and roast for 50 minutes. Allow to cool slightly. Squeeze out the cloves. You’ll only need two for this recipe. Spread the remainder on toast. So good.
Put all of the ingredients in a mini-chopper. Pulse until smooth. This recipe produces a pesto that is the most fabulous green. It’s so bright and so vivid. We loved this over pasta with a few summer tomatoes thrown in for color.