I always feel a little sheepish when I post a pesto recipe. Pesto is a no-brainer kind of recipe. I feel like everyone knows how to make it. It’s as easy as can be to swap out different herbs or greens, use different nuts and cheese, etc, etc. But I have to share this recipe because it’s hands-down my favorite pesto of the moment. Maybe ever. I guess if I mixed pesto and goat cheese with just about anything I’d say it was my favorite. :) Oh but how Goat Cheese Pesto Dip has captured my heart!
A few weeks ago I taught a cooking class at a private residence in conjunction with La Nay Ferme. This is a take on a recipe I shared with the gals who attended the class. It can be hard to know what to do with a plentiful amount of leafy greens–whether it’s from your CSA share, garden or farmers market haul. I seriously love leafy greens and try to get them into every meal.
My original recipe was for spinach and mixed herbs. It was a brilliant, bright green from the spinach and it was an easy favorite of the class. This time I wanted to use the garlic scapes, oregano and arugula from my CSA share and a bunch of basil from my garden. A little bit of everything. (I’ve listed the original recipe below as a variation.)
Garlic scapes are something I see quite often on other blogs and in cookbooks, but I had never bought them myself. They are the green flower stalks of hardneck garlic plants. The flowers don’t bloom. Sometimes you’ll see garlic scapes listed as “green garlic.” I always thought the garlic I planted in my garden last year would yield some tasty scapes, but I’m still not sure what happened to that garlic…it never did anything and I forgot where I planted it. (A hazard for someone who is kind of scatterbrained!) It’s possible I planted the wrong variety. In any case, I loved the flavor the scapes added to the pesto. Garlic scape pesto is very popular and I can’t wait to try it with just scapes sometime. You can use them as you would green onions.
- 4 (or more) garlic scapes (can also use 2 garlic cloves)
- ½ cup nuts (almonds, pine nuts, or walnuts)
- 3 cups fresh arugula, washed and dried (can use more herbs, spinach or chard)
- 2 cup fresh herbs (parsley, oregano, basil)
- ½ cup or so olive oil
- 8-10 ounces fresh goat cheese
- salt and pepper, to taste
- If using garlic cloves, with food processor motor running add the garlic cloves through the feed hole to finely chop. Turn off and add the nuts. Pulse until chopped. Add the garlic scapes, if using, arugula and herbs to the food processor. Pulse a few times until everything is finely chopped. Through the feed hole, add just enough olive oil for a smooth paste to form. Turn off and scrape down sides. Add the goat cheese and pulse until combined. Add more olive oil if needed to bring it to a spreadable consistency. Taste and add salt and pepper. Pulse again until well combined.
- Serve with raw veggies, over hot pasta, or with bread.