Being a farm apprentice has numerous perks, one such perk is having daily access to fresh organic vegetables. On this occasion, I capitalized on my proximity to produce and made some arugula pesto.
As far as recipes go, pesto is fairly straightforward and flexible in terms of interchanging ingredients. While the traditional pesto calls for basil, pine nuts, garlic, olive oil, salt, and Parmesan cheese, you can substitute many of the ingredients in favor of ones you find more palatable. For instance, I used arugula, raw almonds, some spring garlic, and some garlic powder from Organic Green Kitchen in place of the basil, pine nuts, and regular garlic. However, pesto can be made with any leafy green that packs a punch, like kale, mustard greens, and even radish greens. As for the cheese and nut options, try using any number of hard cheese or nut variety.
I used the recipe provided here as a guide for creating my pesto. Being without a food processor, I made do with a blender to turn the raw almond slivers into a course meal, but the same result can be achieved by using a rolling pin and a large sandwich bag to crush the nuts. As for the garlic amount specified in the recipe, I found it truly wanting and ended up using three or four medium sized bulbs and stalks. Obviously, tweak your own recipe to taste and to the amount you are making.
In the end, I combined my pesto with tri-colored radiatori, the fins of which hold the pesto nicely, and topped it all with some rough cut radish for an added crunch.