Saturday, March 14, 2009

Green Goodness

After an annoyingly large batch of "winter weather" the sun has returned to my corner of the world once again. After a week of warmer meals such as soups, stews, and crock pot meals, it is time for something a little fresher.

My parents moved to Georgia about 5 years ago or so. Each year they send me a delightful care package that contains, what else, pecans! (I live north of the Mason-Dixon Line, we pronounce them as pee-cons but I digress...) So I often come up with recipes in which I can use these little nuggets of goodness.

I love pesto. I am not a fan of store bought olive drab colored pesto that is laced with preservatives and salt. I want mine to be fresh and a vibrant green. So, I make mine from scratch. I was making a batch one day and thought, why not use pecans instead of pine nuts?! I tried it on a tomato and fresh mozzarella salad in place of basil and olive oil. The results were fantastic.

I have included the basic pesto recipe as well as a quick pasta dish I serve it on. It's a very versatile condiment, great on toasted baguette, chicken, as a sauce on pizza, and the list goes on.

Pesto isn't an exact science, so my measurements are often handfuls. My handfuls are about 1/3 cup, dry measure. Don't fret about exact measurements, cooking, unlike baking, doesn't have to be perfect.

Becca Pesto!

1 small bunch basil *
2 large handfuls of fresh parsley *
handful chopped pecans
1 small handful shredded Parmesan
Juice of 1/2 small lemon
2 large cloves garlic
1/4- 1/2 half cup extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Put 2-3 TBS oil into a blender. Add herbs, garlic, lemon juice. Chop. Begin to drizzle in a little more oil. Add cheese and pecans. Chop. Drizzle in oil until thick, but smooth in consistency. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

* Total volume of the two combined should be about 2- 2 1/2 cups

To freeze: pour a thin layer of oil over the top- it keeps the flavors better.

Pesto Pasta

6 oz dry bow tie pasta
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup feta cheese crumbles

Boil pasta until cooked through. Drain very well. Put in desired amount of pesto and the tomatoes. Return hot pasta to pan. Toss in feta. Taste, adjust as desired. Serve immediately

No comments:

Post a Comment