Its all in the title! Arugula is a great winter substitute to fresh basil. In this pesto, its sharp flavour and the sweet taste of roasted pecans are a perfect match. Pecorino romano cheese and a touch of lemon zest are the final touch to this delicious sauce made with extra virgin olive oil. The pesto is delicious over pasta, but it is also fantastic with shrimps and fish, bruschettas, and chicken... —Catherine Cuisine
3 cup (750 ml)
(5 oz) baby arugula leaves
(1 1/2 cup) extra virgin olive oil
Pecorino Romano cheese, finely diced (and not grated)
Preheat the oven at 325 F / 170 C and roast the pecans in the oven for about 10 minutes, or until you can smell their wonderful aroma. Do not overcook.
Pour 1/2 cup (125 ml) of oil in your food processor. Add half the arugula. Mix for a few seconds, until the leaves are roughly chopped and completely mixed with the oil. Add the other half of arugula and another 1/2 cup (125 ml) of oil. Pulse again for a few seconds.
In the food processor, add the diced cheese, 1 cup of toasted pecans (100 g), the garlic and the lemon zest. Add the last 1/2 cup ( 125 ml) of oil and mix again for a few seconds, until the desired consistency. Avoid mixing too much to avoid making a purée. Some texture is better. Add more oil if needed. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Pour the pesto into a mixing bowl, using a rubber spatula. Add the remaining 1/2 cup (125 ml) pecans.
Store into small glass containers, and keep in the fridge or in the freezer.
Makes 3 cups (750 ml) pesto.