There’s lots of arugula in the garden. Some still new enough to save for salad, some that has bolted in the heat. The cilantro is just about gone with the dry heat. The basil and parsley have gone to flower. As I thought about how best to enjoy all of what was there while simultaneously best tending the garden for optimal growth (much like yoga practice), I remembered that I had seen a farmer with arugula pesto at the Dupont Circle Fresh Farm Market last week. I bought something else from the farmer to honor the idea, fully conscious of my own garden full of arugula calling out to me.
Making pesto was a great way to optimize the bitter tang of the flowers on the older plants. (I left a few of each type of plant to go to seed for a second crop starting in late summer on a volunteer basis). I added enough of the young arugula and some tender parsley and basil leaves, along with the basil flowers, to bring out the arugula taste that would have been hidden by the bitterness in the plants that had flowered if not been combined with other foods. I pureed the chopped greens with olive oil, walnuts, and green garlic. Salt and pepper to taste.