I've gone overboard with sowing rocket (Eruca sativa, also known as arugula, eruca, rucola, roquette, etc.) in my vegetable garden... To use up the surplus I've made some fresh salad (recommended), filling some omelets, and also tried a pesto using these leaves instead of the more common basil. My question is about the latter. Basic ingredients I had at hand:
- rocket leaves
- lightly toasted sunflower seeds
- some matured white cheddar
- olive oil
- salt, pepper, chilly flakes, balsamic vinegar
While I quite liked the peppery-tasting result on pasta, my first impression was that this was quite bitter. Not bitter enough for me to avoid in future, but I would be hesitant serving this to someone else.
I've been comparing with recipes on the internet, and those do not seem to differ much. Some add a twist of lemon zest, garlic, some basil leaves, and of course the more traditional pecorino or parmesan. But I don't think enough to dilute the bitter taste.
So I am wondering if other people that have made this sort of pesto have the same reaction of bitterness? If so, do you have any tricks for me to bring down the bitterness to acceptable levels - and would you consider this to be suitable for general consumption (e.g. guests that may be used to different fare than you)?