My herbs are staging a coup d’état in the backyard.
I’m striking back with pesto.
One of my fave 101cookbooks.com blog posts is entitled “How to Make Pesto Like an Italian Grandmother”. She’s right. It’s a brilliant recipe; however, sometimes I do not have 1) pine nut cash allowance (so expensive!), 2) oh, I don’t know 1000 extra calories to inhale a 2 tablespoon mouthful of wonderfulness or 3) time to chop BY HAND (wtf?!) a zillion leaves into a paste-like substance-I guess that’s where the grandmother part comes in for Heidi Swanson’s recipe; grandmothers have lots of extra time for this stuff.
Tonight when I realized my parsley was about to FLOWER for goodness sake, I took it upon myself to hack it all down, grab some garlic and headed to the food processor to make, “Certainly not an Italian Grandmother’s Pesto” while muttering to myself, “it’s a damn good thing I like pesto.”
Pesto from the Fridge
- 2 lemons zested and juiced
- 2 large handfuls of something delish and green from your herb garden (could really be anything)
- 4 cloves of garlic, 2 if you are not interested in vampire protection (TrueBlood starts at the end of the month)
- 1/4 C good EVOO
**To make this real pesto, add 1/2 C toasted walnuts or pine nuts, sometimes called Pinons and 1/2 C grated parm cheese to the mix then increase your EVOO as needed to get a nice puree.
Hack down a bunch of your herbs you have been neglecting, use the tender leaf part for the pesto (wash and dry it) and the stems to clean out your garbage disposal, it will make it smell better after you grind them up in there and send them to their new water home.
In a food processor, take the peeled garlic cloves, lemon juice, lemon zest and all of that beautiful greenery and blend while slowly adding the EVOO. You might need less than 1/4 C depending on how liquidy you want the pesto. I like mine a little bit on the dry side.
To store, I take an old ice cube container, spray a little oil in the bottom and on the sides then portion out my pesto in the little wells which happens to make a nice amount of sauce for 2 people when I decide I need a pasta fix; freeze and then pop out and store in a freezer bag.
I have also used this concoction as:
- Tofu marinade
- Combined with greek yogurt to make dip, or thinned with water to make salad dressing.
- Mixed with more EVOO and a dash of balsamic vinegar to create a quick and flavorful vinaigrette.
- Tossed with pasta and raw veggies for a quick lunch or dinner.
- Tossed with pasta, a little pasta water, goat cheese and toasted walnuts for a yummy dinner.
- On top of crusty bread for the base for bruschetta or plain as garlic bread.
- Tossed with saute’d mushrooms.
- Base for marinated olives and bocconcini (baby mozzarella balls) skewers.
- Base for tortillini soup.
Technically this recipe might be considered a Coulis due to lack of cheese; but whatever the case, it’s a flexible, cheap, quick and yummy way to put that herb garden to use and just about any herb or green will due. I’ve even used spinach with fantastic results. Pulling one of these little cubes out of the freezer in February makes my heart remember spring.
Posted in Fridge Finds, Make Ahead, Noodles, Quick Cooking, Recipes, Seasonal Ingredients, Vegan, Vegetarian
Tagged 101cookbooks.com, Basil, coulis, dip, dressing, EVOO, freezer, garlic, green, heidi swanson, herb garden, herbs, ice cube trays, parsley, pasta, pesto, spring, tofu marinade, vegan, vegetarian, Yummy
I think marshmallows are so gross, I don’t even want to tell you what gelatin is made from which is what holds those little guys together. So I took a topping that I love, from fruit crisp, and then modified it slightly for this dish. You could easily add 1/3 C oats to the topping and call this “health food”; however I didn’t do that.
Sweet Potato Crisp
- 3 C sweet potatoes, baked and mashed (approx. 4 large potatoes)
- ½ C sugar or Splenda
- ½ C margarine or butter, melted
- 2 beaten eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/3 C skim milk
- 1/3 C melted margarine or butter
- 1 C light brown sugar or brown sugar Splenda
- ½ C flour
- 1 C chopped pecans
- ½ C – 1C sweetened shredded coconut
Mix together all of the casserole ingredients, place into a 9×13 greased pan.
Combine the topping ingredients in a small bowl and sprinkle over the top of the casserole dish.
Bake at 350 degrees COVERED for 25 minutes, then uncover and bake an additional 3-5 minutes or until just brown.
CAUTION: the sweetened coconut burns QUICKLY so in the last 3-5 minutes you are really watching for the coconut to brown and then remove promptly.
Posted in Baking, Leftovers, Make Ahead, Recipes
Tagged butter, coconut, crisp, Easter, mr. wonderful approved, not-health-food, pecans, sweet potatoes, vanilla, vegetarian, Yummy
Dear Frank’s RedHot,
Thank you for choosing simple ingredients and powerful flavors to create your sauce. I eat that shit on everything, for real. Here’s my Super Bowl Sunday dinner: grilled sharp cheddar/swiss cheese on home baked bread with a side of Frank’s Red Hot. That is all.
Posted in Less is more
Tagged cheese, Frank's Red Hot, fresh bread, grilled cheese, sharp cheddar cheese, Super Bowl Sunday, swiss cheese, veg, whole wheat bread, yum, Yummy