After making a ton of basil pesto I could not stop thinking about an Arugula and Hazelnut version that I have made in the past and love eating. This time I made the Potato Gnocchi to go with it.
2 cups Arugula (freshly washed, trimmed, and dried)
2 cloves garlic (peeled and trimmed)
½ cup toasted, chopped Hazelnuts (rubbed so that as much as possible of the skins can be removed)
¼ cup Hazelnut oil
¼ cup Parmesan Cheese (freshly grated)
Olive Oil (if needed)
First, in the bowl of a food processor or in a blender add your Garlic, Hazelnuts, and Arugula and pulse to chop roughly. Add a bit of Hazelnut oil and pulse more, and then with your processor/blender running add the remainder of the Hazelnut oil in a steady stream until a nice thick paste has formed.
Then, fold in your grated Parmesan cheese. If I am not using the pesto right away I lay some plastic wrap right on top of it and press it down lightly so that it is sealed. If you do not do this your Arugula Pesto will lose its bright green color.
Finally, when ready to use I place the amount needed in a bowl and whisk it with a bit of Olive Oil to create a more saucy consistency. You can season it with Sea Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper to taste.
NOTE: Sometimes I like to drizzle a nicely aged Balsamic Vinegar (that is not too acidic) with the Arugula Pesto. I feel it is a great compliment to the peppery bite the Arugula gives along with the roasted flavor of the Hazelnuts.