orzo with arugula-hazelnut pesto & roasted carrots

the plan was to make a lemony pesto with the fresh basil from the market, but when i grabbed it from the refrigerator, it was wilted and almost frozen (bad fridge!)-no pesto, then? but i was really craving it… surprisingly the arugula in the fridge was still looking nice and fresh-it was going to be an arugula pesto instead! as i reached for the usual walnuts (i don’t use pine nuts very often because the good italian ones are hard to come by) i had a thought-why not try raw hazelnuts instead? it was an a-ha moment- to my surprise and delight, the resulting pesto was fabulous: nutty, zesty, and super fresh-an unexpectedly tasty variation to the our all time favorite lemony basil-walnut version.
 
{delicious} arugula hazelnut pesto:

 

  • 2 cups fresh organic arugula
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 cup raw hazelnuts (toasted should be good too)
  • 1-2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbs fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 3-4 tbs good quality extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan (optional)
  • 1 tsp ground pepper or red pepper flakes

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