Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Arugula Pesto and Winter Garden

We have certainly had a mild winter so far!  I'm not sure if that's why our arugula is prospering or if this is just typical.  But I like it! I went out to check on it yesterday:
Growing like crazy!  And this makes me laugh- Do you remember the neat little rows it started in?  And then the kiddos were playing in the dirt one day and "rearranged" some of the seeds.  You could really see it here:
This was late October.  And the good news is that after a few months, it doesn't seem to matter where the seeds landed- the whole bed is full.  Because I am new to gardening and expecting everything to freeze up and die any day now...I went ahead and started trimming it some. 
I'm not the best trimmer.  Here is my sweet Lucy-bear after her latest trim:

I know it looks tragic, but as long as she feels beautiful, that's what matters, right?  And I repeatedly remind her what a gorgeous little girl-dog she is, so her self-esteem hasn't suffered.  Bless her little doggie heart.  Trip to the groomer coming soon...
Back to the garden, though...

I chopped and chopped and chopped, completely filled my basket, and there is still quite a bit out there for another day!  And the basket is deceiving- it holds A Lot of Arugula. 
Let's break for story-time.  It was Christmas morning and I sat down beside my momma in church.
This is my momma: 
With her sister Glenda many moons ago. Before she ever could imagine she would have a daughter as talkative as me.  Just kidding.   (Glenda's on the left. Mom's on the right.)   
Back to Christmas morning this year.  She looked exhausted. 
Me: Are you okay?
Mom:  Yes, I've just been so busy getting ready for Christmas dinner with this, and this, and looking the spinach, and this.
Me: What the spinach?
Mom: Looking the spinach.
Me: What the spinach?
Mom: Looking the Spinach! You know- washing every spinach leaf to make sure there's no sand- looking at it and washing it! I can't stand gritty stuff in my spinach.
Me: Bahahahahaha!! What about looking At the spinach, Over the spinach, Through the spinach, or just Washing the spinach?
Mom:  (laughing a lot too)  I just call it Looking, I've always called it Looking. It's Looking the spinach.
Me: I love you Mom. :D
And I do.  She has always cleaned and cooked our food this thoroughly! But that conversation struck me as so funny that day!  Maybe from lack of sleep myself?  I don't know, but it was funny.  Having said that, I completely agree that nobody wants dirt or grit in their salad greens.  So I thoroughly looked the arugula over as I washed and dried it.  It's clean.
So, what to do with good, clean, fresh from the garden arugula? 
I had gotten a tweet from The Food Network with links to some really great pestos.  So instead of having to figure out how to use all of it today, we made pesto to use over the next couple of months!
And I'm not planning to eat all of it today, but it was so, so good on ciabatta with bacon and gruyere cheese. Oh my. I'll save you some!

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