Arugula Pesto & Enjoy Sendik's All Week

So, my latest food hang up is pesto.  All different sorts.  Last week it was this roasted red bell pepper version; today I’ve done one with arugula and walnuts.  I’m not sure how the whole pesto idea got stuck in my head to begin with. I’ll lay blame on a favorite sandwich that I always order when catching lunch downtown.  It’s a toasty hot Panini on ciabatta with grilled chicken, sliced tomato, melty fresh mozzarella and a fantastic arugula basil pesto. It’s so good that I dream about the pesto long after lunch is done.  I’m attempting a recreation of the sandwich for dinner tonight.

In the meantime, though, I’ll share the pesto recipe with you.  A small disclaimer is that you probably need to be an arugula fan to appreciate this one – it’s a stronger flavored green (a little peppery, almost?) and to be honest, my kids do not adore it.  Next time I might cut the arugula with a handful of fresh basil like they do at the restaurant.

Apart from using this pesto as the obvious sauce for hot pasta (Sendik’s Pastas are on sale), try spreading a tablespoon or so over pan seared fish (I’m thinking tilapia, which happens to be on sale).  It would also be yummy tossed with roasted or boiled redskin potatoes.  Blend it with some mayo and serve it on a turkey sandwich, or slather it over toasted baguette.  You could always just eat it straight from the bowl.  I’ll never judge. : )

Scroll down to the bottom of the post for more ideas on what to do with ingredients from this week’s Sendik’s sale ad.  Here’s the pesto:

YIELDS:  about 1 cup

1 1/2 – 2 c. lightly packed arugula (Bagged Arugula is on sale)
1 small clove garlic, rough chopped
1/4 c. chopped walnuts, lightly toasted
1/4 – 1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 – 1/2  c. good quality olive oil (Two brands to choose from:  Alessi and California Olive Ranch Extra Virgin Olive Oils)
kosher salt and ground black pepper to taste

Place arugula, garlic, walnuts, and Parmesan in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until mixture is coarsely chopped.  With motor running, begin to drizzle in the olive oil through the feed tube of your processor; stop and scrape down sides of the bowl with a spatula; season to taste with salt and pepper.  Turn motor back on and add a bit of additional olive oil until you reach your preferred consistency.

Now, if arugula pesto isn’t your thing but you still have to get dinner on the table, here are two more ideas for kid tested, mom approved dishes you can make with ingredients from this week’s Sendik’s sale ad.

This Crispy Tilapia Sandwich is a great way to get your kids to try this mild fish.  Look for sale Sendik’s All Natural Saltwater Tilapia Fillets, and Sendik’s Kaiser Rolls.  Yum.

Another great use for the aforementioned sale tilapia, as well as sale Censea 16/20 Count Shrimp and Georgia Sweet Bi-Color Corn are these yummy Grilled Seafood Packets.  There’s nothing like a tin foil dinner in the summer time, right?  These are easy to assemble and delicious at the same time.  If your punks aren’t in to fish, swap in chunks of kielbasa sausage instead of the tilapia.  I do this all the time and it works out great.

Have a great week.  : )

Fresh, Frugal, Fabulous, News | June 19th, 2013