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Rooster's arugula pesto is a culinary chameleon
Special Request

Rooster's arugula pesto is a culinary chameleon

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This week’s recipe request is from the Post-Dispatch Food and Dining in St. Louis group on Facebook. It’s for Rooster’s arugula pesto, which “works well to perk up many dishes.” Thanks to Cindi Lash for requesting it.

At Rooster, this arugula pesto and tomato jam are both served with a bacon and goat cheese crepe. Bailey’s Range uses this savory condiment as a burger topping. Why not simply top a burger or garnish the crepe with fresh arugula?

“We did the arugula as a pesto to concentrate the flavors of the greens,” owner David Bailey says.

Bailey’s thoughtfully crafted menu items often add unexpected touches to a dish that elevates the dining experience.

After making a batch for tests, we found this deeply green thick sauce is something of a culinary chameleon, subtly enhancing the flavors of many foods. Mixed into plain yogurt thinned with milk, it makes a creamy dressing for greens. Added to Greek yogurt or sour cream, it worked well as a vegetable dip. A schmear of pesto and a thin curl of Asiago cheese on crostini brushed with olive oil made a great appetizer.

Try adding a spoonful of pesto to rice, risottos or pasta salads for an extra kick. One of the classic uses for pestos is as a simple sauce for pasta. We tested this with bronze cut penne, adding a little pasta water and hot chicken stock to make it creamier, then topped it with grated pecorino for an extra bite.

We often get requests from readers for simple sauces and condiments, for hummus and simple preparations that can perk up dishes with ease.

With the next batch of arugula pesto we plan to try it as a topping for baked brie, maybe adding a little olive oil and lemon zest. The color would contrast nicely with brie and a cranberry glaze.

The pesto would work well in wraps, especially with deli meats like turkey or chicken. A little mayonnaise added to the pesto might be a zingy sandwich spread.

When you go to Rooster on the next fall morning, be sure to try the goat cheese crepe with tomato jam and arugula pesto, then make it at home, to dress up everyday meals.



1104 Locust Street

3150 South Grand Boulevard


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