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Carrot Arugula Pesto w/ Toasted Walnuts & Sweet Basil Recipe

Mar 2017

Sinkology is proud to present Emily Schuermann, our food-loving guest blogger who runs Food for a Year. Emily is here to share some recipes she has created exclusively for the Sinkology blog that reflect her view of a copper sink: simple, timeless, affordable, and beautifully rustic.

It’s feeling quite spring-like in my part of the world! The trees are starting to bud, my wintered perennials are beginning to pop out of the ground and we have two of the cutest litters of Spring bunnies in our backyard bunny farm. With all of the Spring going on outside, I thought we should bring some Spring into the kitchen!

This simple recipe is packed with fresh flavors and has a million and one uses, or at least twenty! Can you believe, out of all the serving possibilities, slathered on a piece of toasted bread is my most favorite?! Or straight out of the jar by the spoonful!

Just a few simple ingredients and a good spin in the food processor is all it takes. In a matter of minutes, you’ll be enjoying some perfectly yummy, flavor-FULL fresh pesto.

So here is what you’ll need:

  • walnuts
  • baby arugula
  • fresh basil
  • parmesan
  • carrots
  • fresh garlic
  • crushed red pepper flakes
  • salt & pepper
  • olive oil

Start off by toasting a few cups of English walnuts.

While allowing the toasted walnuts to cool, give the baby arugula and basil a good rinse & spin-dry and peel the carrots.

Place the carrots, parmesan, walnuts and garlic in the processor and pulse. Add basil and arugula leaves as well as salt, pepper and crushed red pepper. The crushed red pepper adds a hint of heat that really goes well with the sweetness of the carrots and earthiness of the walnuts. So, although it’s totally optional, don’t be afraid of it! It makes this pesto out-of-this-world good!

Pulse these ingredients while drizzling olive oil into the opening of the food processor. For the quantity of pesto I was making, I used approximately 1½ cups of olive oil, but the amounts are dependent on your ingredients and your preferred pesto consistency. I recommend drizzling, tasting and then adding more as needed. ((Don’t just dump the entire amount in the be processor at once.)) Pulsing is complete when no chunks remain.

Take another taste test to see if additional s & p or crushed red pepper is necessary.

Basil and arugula are really hard to measure – depending on how you pack them into the processor. But this is where practice ((and a set of tasting spoons)) makes perfect.  I used a 60/40 blend of basil and baby arugula, but the privilege of making this pesto yourself is that you can adjust the flavors according to what you like.

You can totally switch up ingredients and come up with your own homemade pesto creation! Leave out arugula or use mostly arugula and less basil. Add some purple beets and parsnips in place of carrots.  Depending on taste preferences and availability or you can go crazy and add Italian parsley, cilantro, spinach, kale — even a little fresh thyme, fennel, dill and oregano. Instead of walnuts try adding pecans, almonds, hazelnuts or the traditional pine nuts ((which happen to be my least favorite, but whatever floats your boat)).

The basic framework of a pesto needs to have greens, parmesan, garlic, a toasted nut and olive oil. Root veggies add a little flair and help pack in another layer of nutrients – but you can totally omit them if you are so inclined.

To store this fresh pesto, place the pesto in a canning type glass jar with a tight fitting lid. Air will cause the fresh ingredients to oxidize and turn brown, so it’s important to drizzle olive oil over the top of the pesto before covering with a lid.

Now let’s talk about eating this delicious pesto. Here are just a few uses:

  • mix a few tablespoons into your favorite jarred marinara
  • on a panini 
  • tossed in warm pasta
  • slathered on cheese toast
  • whipped into mashed potatoes
  • over a salad
  • in potato salad
  • mixed into deviled egg filling
  • spread over chicken breasts, top with tomato slices sprinkle with parmesan & bake at 350° for 30-40 minutes
  • over a steak
  • before steaming, coat the top of a fish fillet 
  • toss with raw shrimp and bake at 400° for 8-10 minutes
  • add to hummus
  • add to greek yogurt, toss with chicken tenderloins, coat with panko and s & p and bake at 400° for 20 minutes

Just to name a few…

How will you use your homemade pesto?

  • Carrot Arugula Pesto w/ Toasted Walnuts & Sweet Basil
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    Prep Time
    15 min
    Prep Time
    15 min
    1. 1½ c walnuts
    2. 2 c baby arugula, washed and dried
    3. 3 c fresh basil, washed and dried
    4. 8 oz. block parmesan cheese, broken into crumbles
    5. 3 medium carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
    6. 1 large clove fresh garlic
    7. ¼ t crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
    8. 1 t salt (more or less to taste)
    9. 1 t pepper (more or less to taste)
    10. 1½ c olive oil
    1. Place ingredients (except olive oil) into a food processor, pulse. While pulsing, drizzle olive oil into the food processor. Continue pulsing and adding olive oil until you reach the desired consistency. Add additional salt, pepper and crushed red pepper as desired.
    2. To store, place in a lidded glass jar, top pesto with a layer of olive oil and refrigerate. The prevents browning and extends the life of the pesto. If stored properly, will last up to 12 weeks.
    3. Makes 3-4 c
    1. 10, 8"-10" fresh, sweet basil sprigs (or about 1 1/2 cups of fresh basil leaves)
    2. 2 medium, peeled cloves of fresh garlic
    3. 1 to 1 1/4 c toasted walnut halves*
    4. 1/2 to 3/4 c olive oil, the higher the quality, the better
    5. sea salt & cracked pepper to taste
    Adapted from Food for a Year blog

For more recipes from our copper-loving foodie, check out our blog. If you have any questions about copper or copper sinks, our Sinkologists are here to help. Contact us or follow us on FacebookTwitterHouzzPinterest, or Instagram for helpful tips, recipes, and design ideas.