Pumpkinseed, Hemp, and Arugula Pesto

Pesto is one of the most versatile sauces, and can be crafted from a multitude of ingredients. It need not be made from only basil and pine nuts, as is the case with most traditional Italian dishes. Depending on how I plan to use it, whether as a spread for avocado toast, to dollop on top of a hearty soup, simply as a dip, or to toss with pasta, I might opt for herbs other than basil, such as cilantro and parsley, which pair nicely with walnuts, pistachios, and even cashews. Other times I might want a hint of pepperiness, and so will swap some of the herbs for spicy greens like arugula and kale, and rather than nuts will reach for seeds like pumpkin and hemp as included in this recipe.

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons raw pumpkin seeds

2 tablespoons hemp seeds

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon water

1 handful basil (about 1 oz.), rough chopped

1 cup arugula leaves, packed, rough chopped

1 small handful fresh parsley, rough chopped

3 medium peeled fresh or 6 roasted garlic cloves

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

4 turns of cracked black pepper

Preparation:

1. In a blender or food processor, combine all ingredients, and pulse until combined. Process until smooth for tossing with pasta, and for spreading. Leave a bit more texture if you will be using the pesto as a dip or to top soup and salads.