Arugula green garlic pesto.

A glut of almost-too-mature arugula in my backyard vegetable garden just begged to be turned into pesto (it was a little too pungent to toss in a salad). You know what else begged to be turned into pesto? A couple of heads of green garlic I picked up from the farmers’ market.

What is green garlic? Simply, it’s garlic that hasn’t fully grown into the cloved head we all know as garlic. Harvested in the spring, it’s milder and brighter-tasting than mature garlic. I don’t have enough garlic growing in my garden to dig any up early, so I find it at farmers’ markets in our area. I use green garlic as I would regular: sautéed with vegetables over pasta, in salad dressing, or here, in this recipe for arugula and green garlic pesto.

Toss this arugula-garlic pesto with pasta for a quick and easy dinner, or stir it into scrambled eggs or a frittata. Arugula pesto also makes a great go-with for grilled Italian sausages and potatoes. Or drop a spoonful into a bowl of homemade minestrone.

Keep an eye out for green garlic this spring and give it a try!

arugula green garlic pesto recipe

makes about 1 cup

4 cups (lightly packed) arugula
2 heads green garlic (including pale green part)
2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
1/2 cup good olive oil
1/2 cup (lightly packed) grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
Freshly ground pepper

Combine all the ingredients in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade and pulse until the pesto is smooth. Store refrigerated up to 2 weeks and frozen up to 1 year.

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