Making this pesto yourself with high quality cheese and olive oil really elevates a simple thing to something special.
Roasting the garlic mellows out its bite and allows you to use more than you would otherwise. Taste it as you go and you'll get the flavor just the way you like it.
Artichoke Lemon Pesto ~~~adapted from Donna Hay
oven to 400
3 or 4 cloves garlic, skin on
a handful of baby arugula
a 12 oz jar of marinated artichoke hearts, drained
juice of 1or 2 lemons
1 cup finely grated hard Italian cheese
1/2 cup sliced almonds or pine nuts, toasted
salt and pepper
at least 1/2 cup good extra virgin olive oil
- Wrap the garlic cloves loosely in foil and roast for about 20 minutes in the oven.
- Carefully squeeze out the pulp and put into a small food processor.
- Add in the arugula and pulse a few times to reduce the bulk of the arugula.
- Add in the artichoke hearts, the juice of one lemon, cheese, and nuts, pulsing in between if necessary to reduce the bulk and fit everything in to the bowl.
- Drizzle in the olive oil while the machine is running. It will take quite a lot to get a nice loose pesto consistency. At least 1/2 cup, probably more.
- Taste and add salt, pepper, and more lemon juice if necessary.
- Store in a clean jar and refrigerate until needed. You can also freeze it, just put it in an airtight plastic container.
To serve with pasta:
- Cook your pasta, drain and return to the pan. Reserve a cup of the cooking liquid.
- Toss it with a couple of big handfulls of the baby arugula. The arugula will wilt from the heat of the pasta.
- Add in some more grated cheese while tossing.
- Spoon dollops of pesto onto the pasta and toss again. Add in some of the cooking liquid to help distribute the pesto and make a light sauce.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Serve with extra cheese.