Liz Neumark of The Sylvia Center at Katchkie Farm in upstate New York teaches children how to grow, harvest and prepare healthy, natural, local food. Sylvia's Table, their just-released cookbook, is full of the Center's greatest hits. This variation on pesto incorporates peppery arugula and earthy, herbal sage for a fresh, simple sauce you'll slather on more than just pasta.
The flavors here are pretty assertive, but this pesto is great on boiled small whole potatoes or tossed with whole-wheat pasta. Use it as a sauce with pork, grilled steaks or seafood.
- 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves, 3 whole and 1 minced
- 1/2 cup walnuts, shelled
- 4 cups arugula leaves, loosely packed
- 1/2 cup sage leaves
- 1/2 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated
- Heat about 1 tablespoon of the oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the whole garlic cloves and sauté until they are golden brown, about 5 minutes; do not let the garlic burn or it will become bitter. Pour the garlic and oil from the pan and set them aside.
- Toast the walnuts in the skillet over medium heat until golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove the walnuts from the heat.
- Put the arugula, sage, walnuts, and both the sautéed and minced garlic in a blender or a food processor; pulse to mince the ingredients.
- With the machine running, or while pulsing the food processor, slowly pour in the remaining oil and blend just until the ingredients are well incorporated.
- Scrape the mixture into a bowl and stir in the cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
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