I was clicking around on the Nums the other day, and I noticed an unfulfilled promise I made back on St. Patty’s Day about a pesto recipe. As a person who places unreasonable stock in that holiday, my “luck of the Irish” will be totally whacked if I don’t rectify this, so that’s what I’m doing here.
As the title would imply, this is Ina Garten’s recipe, and aside from the usual seasoning to taste, it needs no modification. It’s a great basic pesto recipe, and The Chef can attest to the fact that I waxed dramatic about how easy and completely worth it it is to make this rather than buying the jarred stuff. (I know that’s supposed to be obvious, but sometimes you need something like this or Batali’s Basic Marinara Sauce to reteach you that fact.)
Also, this freezes incredibly well, so make a bunch for your long-term carbo needs.
1/4 cup walnuts
1/4 cup pine nuts*
3 tbsp chopped garlic (9 cloves)
5 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1.5 cups good olive oil
1 cup Parmesan, freshly grated
Place the walnuts, pine nuts, and garlic in the bowl of a food processor with a steel blade. Process for 15 seconds.
Add the basil leaves, salt, and pepper. With the processor running, slowly pour the olive oil into the bowl through the feed tube and process until the pesto is thoroughly pureed.
Add the Parmesan and puree for a minute. Use right away or store the pesto in the refrigerator or freezer with a thin film of olive oil on top.
*The time I made this, I was too lazy to brave the psychofest that is the parking situation at midtown Schnuck’s, and I couldn’t find pine nuts at Miss Cordelia’s, so I used all walnuts. It may not feel as fancy, but it tastes just as good.
As many of you know, I started a new job this week, and I’m not entirely sure what I’m doing. And as it turns out, I’m not good at being clueless. At work, that is. I’m great at it on the weekends (See: the black eye I gave myself from tripping over Emily’s computer last Friday).
Photo from kissmyspatula.com
Anyway, my confusion over words and acronyms I don’t understand stops now, which is why I chose to dumb-down The Chef’s title of this post from “crudo” to “salad.” That is the speed I’m running on, people, so shift back a gear.
This salad reminds me of a simpler time when my biggest worry was what kind of wine I was going to drink alongside my Chef-prepared farm fresh MFM veggies… also known as last week. Seems like a year.
Anywho, this salad was fresh and fantastic, and it was the perfect side to the Seared Scallops with Mango Vinaigrette. The adorable baby carrots we had with it didn’t hurt either (recipe coming soon).
Lemon thyme vinaigrette:
1 shallot, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 lemons, zested and juiced
1/3 cup olive oil
1 tsp fresh thyme
- Combine all ingredients except oil.
- Slowly add oil while whisking.
2 lbs zucchini, sliced as thin as possible (a mandoline or the slicer on your food processor is perfect for this)
2 tbsp crushed walnuts
shaved parmesan cheese, about 6 thin slices
salt to taste
- Place zucchini in a strainer and sprinkle with salt. Let it sit for about 10 minutes.
- Toss zucchini with dressing and add walnuts. Top with parmesan cheese. Serve cold. With lots of white wine.
This is by far my favorite salad
The Chef has made to date. And not just because I got to eat it while watching The. Most. Shocking. Bachelor. Finale. EVER. (Which it wasn’t even
– I mean, Brad picked Emily. That girl was so good-looking even I
was in love with her, and I usually only go for Latinas. Sup Eva Mendes.)
But I digress. Whenever you give me roasted mushrooms and tomatoes of any kind, I am happy, and the combination of both with the crunchy walnuts was fantastic. The Chef says the tangy vinaigrette is also great as a sauce on chicken or fish. I just thought it would be highly drinkable… if you’re into that sort of thing.
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
1/2 shallot, minced
zest of one lemon
1 clove garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste
- In a mixing bowl, add everything except oil and combine.
- Slowly add oil to emulsify.
Roasted Veggie Salad:
1 pound portabella mushrooms, sliced
arugula, half of a container
6 *yellow tomatoes, quartered
crumbled goat cheese, a few “sprinkles” (We’re very technical here.)
walnuts, chopped, a few “handfuls”
salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 375.
- Toss mushrooms and tomatoes in oil, salt and pepper. Lay out on sheet pan and roast for 20 minutes. (The Chef likes to serve these veggies at room temp, and I agree.)
- Toss arugula with dressing and top with veggies, goat cheese, and walnuts.
*You can obviously use red tomatoes if necessary, but these are prettier and have a great flavor, so try to snag some if you can.
**Also fairly obvious is the fact that this picture is not of the same version of the salad written above. Mainly because I was too involved in finding out whether or not Chantal was gonna wig out and deck Brad when he basically denied ever liking her on “After the Final Rose” (She didn’t – LAME.), and I forgot to take a photo. The Chef says he makes this a lot, though, so we”ll replace this one shortly.