Here’s a new twist on the ever popular pesto sauce - this one is made with both basil leaves and arugula.
I got the idea from recipes for arugula pesto I had been seeing in magazines and on television. They sounded good to me because I like the bitterness of arugula. The combination of arugula and basil came about because I didn’t have enough of either one to make a pesto sauce.
Arugula or rocket, as I mentioned in a previous column, has become popular in the past couple of years. It’s a peppery salad green with a mustard or slightly bitter taste. Many think it tastes similar to mustard greens. I like it mixed with other greens in salads, on a sandwich or, in this case, in a pesto.
This pesto also is different from a standard basil pesto because nuts and cheese are not added to the purée, but instead sprinkled over the top of each serving. Avocado, arugula and basil leaves are puréed with garlic and olive oil, then finished off with a squeeze of lemon or lime juice. The avocado makes the pesto creamy.
Toss pesto with cooked pasta and garnish with toasted nuts and Parmesan cheese.
Serve this dish as a cold pasta salad. It’s perfect for a late-summer luncheon or supper.