Arugula Walnut Pesto

When Otis takes his nap I, like clockwork, head to the Serious Eats Photograzing page to see what's cooking (pun intended).  Recently I came across a beautiful photo for a Spring Salad by A Little Zaftig.  The blog title piqued my interest and I went to her site to check out her recipes.  It's a great blog.   I was curious to see who A Little Zaftig follows, so I checked out her blogroll and came across Cookie+Kate.  That's where I found this recipe for Arugula Walnut Pesto.
The pesto recipe was originally posted by Elise of SimplyRecipes.  You might recall that I made her mücver (zucchini) fritters a few weeks ago.  She's an extremely talented cook.
Anyway, this recipe is seasonal and the pesto pairs perfectly with fresh pasta and some parmesan shavings.  I like making sauces that don't require a lot of flame time because my teeny-tiny kitchen starts to heats up around this time of year. 
A note on garlic: This recipe uses roasted garlic which is a great way to keep the garlic flavor without the garlic-intensity that you can sometimes find in pesto.  
Arugula Walnut Pesto Recipe (Courtesy of Elise at Simply Recipes by way of Cookie+Kate)
Yields 1 heaping cup
Ingredients
2 cups of packed arugula leaves, stems removed
1/2 cup of shelled walnuts
1/2 cup fresh Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
6 garlic cloves, unpeeled (I went with 5 cloves)
1/2 garlic clove peeled and minced (I left this out)
1/2 teaspoon salt 

Directions
Brown 6 garlic cloves with their peels on in a skillet over medium high heat until the garlic is lightly browned in places, about 10 minutes. Remove the garlic from the pan, cool, and remove the skins.
Toast the nuts in a pan over medium heat until lightly brown.
Food processor method (the fast way): Combine the arugula, salt, walnuts, roasted and raw garlic into a food processor. Pulse while drizzling the olive oil into the processor. Remove the mixture from the processor and put it into a bowl. Stir in the Parmesan cheese OR
Mortar and pestle method (the slower way): Combine the nuts, salt and garlic in a mortar. With the pestle, grind until smooth. Add the cheese and olive oil, grind again until smooth. Finely chop the arugula and add it to the mortar. Grind up with the other ingredients until smooth.


Because the pesto is so dependent on the individual ingredients, and the strength of the ingredients depends on the season or variety, test it and add more of the ingredients to taste.  I ended up adding a pinch more salt and omitting the raw, minced (not roasted) garlic all together.
Serve with pasta, over freshly roasted potatoes, roasted tomatoes or as a sauce for pizza.