Sunday, May 25, 2014

Gardening and Arugula Pesto

Spring is in full swing here on the west coast and I am reaping the benefits!

My sister Valerie and I are taking a gardening course through a wonderful group called Farmers on 57th right here in Vancouver.  Since early April, with the help of our 2 great instructors, we have planned our 4' x 6' garden plot, prepared our soil using nutrient rich mushroom manure, and planted our seeds in the ground (with the exception of a couple of plants we started indoors sitting on a sunny window sill).  Now that all this is done, it's just sit back and watch our vegetables grow!

Well, not exactly.  We do make several trips to our plot throughout the week to water, and to see (with much anticipation and excitement) what has sprouted out of the ground.  Here are some photos taken along the way:

Week 2

We are growing peas, two varieties of kale, mesclun greens, arugula, rainbow radishes, carrots, and indoors we are starting basil and sungold tomatoes.

Week 4
It has only been 5 weeks since we planted our seeds, and we already have plenty to be excited about!  It seems that our arugula has exploded out of the ground.  Yesterday we harvested our tender and peppery leaves for the second time this week.

Week 6

I love arugula.  I remember the first time I tasted it in a salad years ago, and from that time I was hooked.  Arugula is great in salads but you can use it several other ways

This week

After all the warm sunshine we have had in the last couple of weeks, today is a rainy Sunday and a perfect day to do a little cooking for the week.  I made pesto with my arugula, it's so easy and so delicious!  This recipe is perfect for pasta, on a sandwich, as a dip, or even as a base of a pizza instead of tomato sauce.  Give it a try, you're gonna love it!

Makes about 1 cup of pesto

2 cups (packed) fresh arugula
1 garlic glove
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese

Here's how I made this:

Place the first 4 ingredients in a food processor and pulse until all the ingredients are finely chopped.  Continue blending constantly while gradually adding the olive oil.

Pour into a bowl and stir in the parmesan cheese.  Season to 

Place into airtight container and keep in the fridge for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 6 months.  I place mine in small individual containers in the freezer.

Enjoy!  Happy Sunday!

Photography by: Melissa LeBlanc
Recipe adapted from: Giada de Laurentiis

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