It's made with spinach, arugula, walnuts, garlic, cheese, oil, and is kicked up a notch with a jalapeno. The rich arugula flavor comes through nicely without being bitter, and the spiciness was perfect. If you're worried about the heat being too powerful, omit the seeds from the pepper. And if you're serving this with pasta, pick a noodle that has ridges or curves (fusilli, penne, rigatoni, rotini, etc.) so the sauce can stick and cling to the pasta.
The recipe below makes plenty of pesto, so freeze leftovers in an ice cube tray with olive oil drizzled over it. Once frozen, pop them out and continue freezing the cubes in a Ziploc bag—they'll be perfect for nights when you need a quick and easy meal!
adapted from Giada De Laurentiis of the Food Network
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- 3 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
- 1 (2-inch) green jalapeno pepper, stemmed and coarsely chopped (omit seeds for milder flavor)
- 2 cups grated Parmesan/Reggiano cheese (Asiago or regular Parmesan works great, too)
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3 ounces baby spinach
- 3 ounces arugula
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
DirectionsIn a food processor*, combine walnuts, garlic, jalapeno, cheese, salt and pepper. Process until the mixture is smooth. Add spinach and arugula and process until blended. With machine running, gradually the olive oil.
*We used a 14-cup processor and had to smash the spinach and arugula in there, so if you have a smaller food processor you may need to make it in a couple batches.