Arugula Pesto

Ingredients:

4 cups (about 6 ounces) packed fresh arugula leaves*
1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted**
2 tablespoons shallots, chopped
Juice of 1/2 lemon
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and pepper, to taste

Cooking Directions:

A spicy alternative to traditional basil pesto, arugula pesto presents a peppery contrast to the cheese.

Combine arugula and almonds in a food processor; pulse to chop. Add shallots and lemon juice and, while pulsing, drizzle olive oil in a steady stream until the pesto is thick and emulsified. Add salt and pepper to taste; pulse to combine. Serve in a small ramekin, spooned over cheese or alongside cheese. Pesto will keep several days in a sealed container topped with a thin layer of olive oil in the refrigerator.

*For a longer lasting, bright green pesto, quickly blanch the arugula by dropping it into a colander in boiling water for 10 seconds. Remove and immediately cool by placing the colander into a prepared ice bath. Remove and drain arugula well.

**To toast almonds, place nuts in a single layer in an ungreased shallow pan. Bake at 350°F for 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from pan to cool.

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