I have a bumper crop of arugula this year that is coming in all at once. I had to use it or lose it so I thought I might as well make arugula pesto and freeze it!
Even though I love arugula, there is only so much raw arugula in salads and sauteed arugula I can eat. Making pesto requires a lot of greens so it is a perfect way to use up all the bunches I have.
Of course, you can get really tired of pesto, too, so I thought that freezing it in ice cube trays would allow me to use it as a flavor enhancer in soups, salad dressings and shakes.
I am not a big fan of having green shakes every day, because the greens typically used are in the brassica family, like kale and arugula. These greens are considered goitrogens when eaten raw, along with brocholi and cauliflower. They can bind up minerals like iodine and affect the thyroid in a negative way.
That said, using a portion the size of an ice cube would probably not bother anyone and it will impart a lot of flavor!
Nutrition in Arugula
Arugula is an excellent source of vitamins A and C, folic acid, calcium, manganese and magnesium. It is also high in potassium, iron, zinc, riboflavin and copper. Remember, minerals need to be in the presence of fat to be well absorbed.
The recipe for pesto is perfect for that, as it calls for extra virgin olive oil. The fat will also cut down on the peppery taste of the arugula.
This is a Paleo recipe so it does not contain the traditional use of cheese. I wanted to make it an AIP recipe as well, so I left out the nuts. Those two food items help make pesto more balanced, but when using it in small portions (ice cubes) and added to other foods, I think you will find it to give those foods a burst of flavor!
Alternatively, you could simply use this as a condiment if you love pesto!
- 2 cups fresh arugula, packed
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a mini processor finely chop the arugula and garlic
- Place this into an immersion blender cup
- Add the olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper
- Blend for a few minutes until smooth
- Use a teaspoon to place the pesto into ice cube trays
- Freeze at least 3 hours before removing cubes to a freezer friendly bag
- Use as needed for a burst of flavor in soups, salad dressing or shakes