Let’s talk Pesto! You know I love me some Cinfully Simple Fresco Pesto and since coming back from Italy I can’t get enough of it! So when I created this Italy Inspired Rocket Fresco Pesto—My newest favorite Fresco Pesto recipe—I couldn’t wait to share it with you! And what better time than #TasteOfItaly Month?
I love this stuff so much, I even eat it on my favorite toast for breakfast and sometimes as a nice layer underneath my Avocado Breakfast Toast. Good, healthy fats all around! YUMMO!
“Rocket” as it’s called in Italy, also known as arugula, is a rocket-shaped green belonging to the mustard family, that you will often find in your standard spring mix or field greens. It’s a combination of a tangy and spicy (but not really hot) and in Italy we found it to be spicier than here—It was also huge—like suped up Rocket!
Rocket Fresco Pesto Particulars
Now before you get all weirded out on me because this is non-traditional pesto, let me explain this variation on a Fresco Pesto theme. First, for those of you who don’t like basil, this Rocket Fresco Pesto is for you. No Basil! Instead it’s a lightly tangy, savory pesto that just melts in your mouth. It’s like a Circque du Soleil of flavors for your discerning palate! I know it sounds a little weird for you pesto purists out there but you have to try it at least once! Pinky swear? Also, if you’ve got a thing with cilantro—You know that taste bud thing that makes it taste soapy instead of succulent—Trade it out for some Italian parsley instead! See? It’s just so easy to play with your food! Speaking of playing with your food, you know I’m not a fan of over oily Fresco Pesto so I start with a smaller amount of oil first then add a little at a time as needed to blend the ingredients. This is a personal preference pesto experience!
So what can you eat this stuff on? Uhm, EVERYTHING! Ok that may be a slight exaggeration, but let me fill you in on the wonder’s of Pesto in/on and with:
- On Pasta
- On Toast
- On Bruschetta
- With/on Crackers n Cheese
- As Pizza Sauce
- As Salad Dressing–Just add a little water and balsamic vinegar, whisk and GO!
- On Chicken
Next Up, we’re going to combine Rocket Fresco Pesto and béchamel sauce to make the best lasagna you’ve ever had; Cinque Terre Inspired Authentic Pesto Lasagna! Lemme hear you say Mamma Mia!
- ½-1 c. Lemon garlic olive oil
- ¼ Lemon, squeezed
- 2-3 Toes of garlic (How many vampires are you warding off today?)
- 8 oz. Asiago cheese, cut in small chunks
- ½ c. Pine nuts
- ½ c. Walnuts
- 5 oz. Spinach
- 5 oz. Arugula (Known in Italy as Rocket)
- 1 Large bunch of cilantro
- Generous pinch of sea salt & pepper
- Clean herbs and and dry off any excess water. Herbs can retain some stem.
- Throw all the ingredients into your Ninja, blender or food processor: Start with oil and place the cheese and garlic at the bottom so they get mulched up first, then layer on the nuts, and greens go on top-you will need to smash them down to close the lid.
- Puree until smooth.
- If the greens are not moving into the blade cycle, stop your blender/food processor completely, use a rubber spatula to move them down into the already pureed portion, then re-blend. If that doesn’t work, add more oil.
You can use any olive oil or any hard Italian cheese (like parmesan or pecorino). Don't like cilantro? No problem, use Italian Parsley instead.