Making use of what’s in your cupboard before expiration date always feels good. I am guilty, at times, of having to throw food out. According to Second Harvest, Canadians waste $31 billion of food every year of which 47% is wasted in the home. Over 30% of fruits and vegetables are rejected by supermarkets because they aren’t attractive enough for consumers. The primary contributor to consumer food waste is high expectations—demand for high-quality, aesthetically-pleasing food is a key factor behind the volume of food waste among consumers. I reject ugly-looking fruit or veggies when there are visible signs of spoilage. I don’t know why I expect my food to last longer. The refrigerator is meant to prolong the life of fruits and vegetables and perhaps psychologically I have time on my side and, regrettably, that isn’t always the case – mea culpa.
I had an opened large jar of marinated artichokes sitting in the refrigerator. For weeks I kept pushing the jar around to make room for other food items and yesterday I finally decided to make an effort to use the remaining artichokes. My mind wondered and then it dawned on me to make artichoke pesto. I could use it in a number of ways and not limited to one dish. I’ve used fresh and marinated artichokes for years and my blog has over 15 recipes using this cultivated thistle. I made this pesto to toss with tacconelli (triangle-shaped flat pasta) or use whatever pasta you have. Pesto is perfect as a base for pizza, as a dip, mixed with mashed potato, in a pasta salad, thinned out with olive oil to make a dressing, in soup or spread on a crostini. Making pesto is a personal thing. Some prefer a garlicky-cheesy taste while others enjoy the flavor of basil to shine. This recipe does not use basil so adjust according to your palate.
- 2 – 3 cloves of garlic
- large handful rocket (arugula)
- 6 or more marinated artichoke hearts
- fresh lemon juice, to taste
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese or pecorino
- ½ cup pine nuts
- ¼ to ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Place garlic, rocket, artichoke hearts and pine nuts in a food processor and pulse until combined. While motor is running, slowly pour in olive oil (pour in ¼ cup first and go from there). Scrape sides and squeeze a bit of lemon juice and pulse to combine. Add Parmesan in increments, stir to combine, and adjust the ingredients as you see fit.
The Culinary Chase’s Note: Any leftover pesto, spoon into a jar and cover the top with olive oil. This will keep for up to one week. Enjoy!