I’ve been obsessed with traditional basil pesto for a very long time.
When I first tried it I was at a point in my life when green things still made me feel a little queasy--but once I closed my eyes and took a bite, I realized how crazy flavorful and addicting pesto can be.
Pesto is really all about a simple formula of ingredients: herbs, nuts, oil, cheese, and garlic.
The exciting news is that you can use all sorts of combinations of these ingredients to make numerous varieties of pestos--including my Brown Butter Arugula Pesto.
I’ve substituted the oil for browned butter, which is rich and nutty (watch How To Brown Butter), and the basil is replaced by slightly spicy arugula.
All together, it’s a little familiar, a little exotic--and totally addicting!
Brown Butter Arugula Pesto
Makes 1 cup
½ cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
4 cloves garlic, smashed
3 cups arugula
¾ cup parmesan cheese
¼ cups pine nuts, toasted
1. In a medium pot over medium heat, melt the butter and cook it until browned—about 5 minutes (Watch my How to Brown Butter video). Add the smashed garlic and cook it until fragrant—about 1 minute. Then turn off the heat and let this mixture cool.
2. Once the browned butter and garlic mixture has reached room temperature, add it to the bowl of a food processor along with the arugula, parmesan, and toasted pine nuts. Blend this until it is smooth—you want it to be loose and easily spreadable.