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While traditionally pesto is made with basil, this recipe switches it up with vibrant, peppery arugula that goes perfectly over whole wheat pasta. I made arugula pesto in the past, but neglected to understand the value of recording the recipe. Here is my official first attempt at a delicious and deceptively healthy pesto.

5 cups packed arugula
3/4 cup pecorino, broken up into chunks
3/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
1 clove garlic
4 T extra-virgin olive oil
Juice 1 lemon
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and whirl until smooth (alternately, if you like pesto with a bit more texture, pulse until desired consistency is reached).

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Use as a dip for vegetables or crusty baguette, sauce for pasta (makes enough for 1 pound), garnish for soups, condiment for sandwiches, etc. (I served it with whole wheat pasta, garnished with grated pecorino and freshly ground black pepper.)

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I’ve been wanting to make this chilled soup for a while, but wasn’t expecting anything earth-shattering. This recipe, however, is pretty spectacular. Rich, luscious, and creamy, it is a meal in itself. A garnish of the soup’s main ingredients gives texture to the final dish, which looks like it came straight from a restaurant kitchen.

1 3/4 cups diced cucumber (1/2 large hothouse), plus more for garnish
1 cup green grapes, plus more for garnish
1 cup slivered or sliced almonds, plus more for garnish
1 clove garlic
1 cups cubed baguette (1/2 a demi-baguette)
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
2/3 cups extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for garnish
Kosher salt, to taste

1. Combine all ingredients in a blender.
2. Add 2 cups water to the blender and whirl until smooth.
3. Divide evenly among bowls and garnish with diced cucumber, green grapes (halved), almonds, and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil.

Serves 2-4

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I used this recipe from Bon Appetit for Thai Larb. Here is how I adapted it:

1 small onion, rough dice
1 jalapeno, thin slice
2 cloves garlic, thin slice
2 1/2 tsp fish sauce
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
Zest of 2 limes, thin slice
3 Tbsp canola oil, divided
1 3/4 pound pork tenderloin, trimmed of fat and cut into 2-inch cubes
8 leaves butter, romaine, or iceberg lettuce leaves
Cilantro, for garnish

For the sauce:
1/3 cup fresh lime juice
2 Tbsp fish sauce
2 Tbsp light brown sugar
1/2 tsp Sriracha sauce

1. In a food processor, place onion, jalapeno, garlic, fish sauce, salt, lime zest, and 1 Tbsp of the oil. Pulse until finely chopped.
2. Add the pork to the food processor and pulse until it is very finely chopped.
3. In a pan, heat the remaining 2 Tbsp oil over medium heat. Add the pork mixture and cook, breaking it apart with the back of a wooden spoon, until cooked through, about 5 minutes.
4. Make the sauce: combine the ingredients and stir.
5. Arrange lettuce leaves on a plate and fill each leaf with larb. Drizzle with sauce and garnish with cilantro.

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Leftovers were piled into a container and layered with kimchi. YUM.