Pasta Pesto Please

Pesto is my most favorite thing to make in the summer. Fresh basil makes all the difference! I acknowledge that each person has his or her own variation of pesto. My recipe is no exception. I, Like most people, was taught by my mother. She has taught me most things that I know about cooking. I document my cooking to share good quality recipes for everyone to enjoy!  Thank you!

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Ingredients

4 cups Basil, leaves/stems divided

1 cup pine nuts, save 1/2 tbsp. to garnish

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, save 1/2 tbsp. to garnish

2 cloves garlic, whole

olive oil

Directions…as easy as 1,2,3,…4.

  1. Combine basil, nuts, cheese, and garlic together in a food processor.
  2. Gradually add olive oil to mixture.
  3. Remove to bowl and garnish with extra pine nuts and cheese.
  4. Enjoy on pasta or bruschetta!

 

 

 

 

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Summer Vegetable Lasagna

Inspired by The Greens Cook Book: Extraordinary Vegetarian Cuisine from the Celebrated Restaurant by Deborah Madison with Edward Espe Brown

This is a three part recipe. First, tomato sauce. Second,the custard. Third and lastly,  vegetables. Follow as shown below.

Serves 6-8; a good potluck dish

Cook/prep time: 1.5 hours

Ingredients

For the tomato sauce

  • 2-3 large fresh tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small red onion, finely diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 sprig of fresh thyme
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • sugar, if necessary

Chop the tomatoes into chunks, keep seeds and skin for additional flavor.

Warm the oil in large saucepan. Add the onion, garlic, and thyme. Season with salt and pepper. Cook over low heat for 2 minutes, or until onions soften, stir occasionally. Add the tomatoes and raise the heat to medium. Simmer for 15-20 minutes, until sauce has thickened. Add more salt if needed. Also, if needed, add a teaspoon of sugar to balance the acidity. Set aside.

For the custard

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream or whole milk
  • 1/2 Parmesan cheese, grated
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tsp. of chopped basil
  • 6-8 thin slices Gruyere cheese (optional)

For the custard

Beat the eggs. Stir in the ricotta cheese, milk, Parmesan, and basil. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

For the vegetables

  • 4-5 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 3-4 Japanese aubergines (eggplants), cut into round slices
  • 2-3  zucchinis, cut into round slices
  • 1 white onion, finely sliced
  • sea salt
  • 1 white or yellow onion, chopped in thin slices

Heat oil in a large skillet. When the oil is hot, add the eggplant and aubergines and season with salt. Reduce heat to medium low. Flip and toss in oil until brown and tender, 5 minutes. Remove to a plate lined with paper towels. Set aside.

Using the same skillet, add the onion and more oil if needed. Cook until onions have softened. Remove to separate plate. Set aside.

Assemble

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Use a large casserole dish, Cover the bottom with a little tomato sauce. Lay half of the aubergine/zucchinis over the sauce. Sprinkle an extra teaspoon of chopped basil over the layer of aubergines/zucchinis. Follow with slices of Gruyere (if using.) Top with the remaining sauce. Follow with the remaining aubergines/zucchinis, and then the onions. Finish with with custard, covering the whole area.

Bake for 40 minutes, until the custard has gently swelled and lightly browned. Let it rest for 5 minutes before enjoying. As found from experiment, this dish is even better the second day.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Indian-spiced Potatoes with Chicken

Inspired by Jamie Oliver

Made for Summer Fun with fresh produce and even farmers’ market chicken

Serves 6

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 1 hr. 25 min.

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recipe and photo credit: jamieoliver.com
  • 1.5 lbs. of potatoes
  • 4 ripe fresh big tomatoes in summer
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 aubergine (a.k.a. eggplant)
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 inch. of a ginger root thumb
  • ½ bunch of coriander or cilantro
  • olive oil or coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp. mustard seeds
  • 1 handful of curry powder
  • 1 heaped tsp. ground turmeric
  • 1 heaped tsp. ground cumin
  • 6 large organic free-range chicken thighs or breast
  • 2 fresh red or green chilies

For the Dressing

  • ½ bunch of fresh mint
  • ½ lemon
  •  a thumb size of ginger
  • 150 g natural yogurt, low-fat
  • 1 fresh green chili

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Cut the potatoes in cubes and bring to a boil in salted water, reduce the heat to low and cook until softened. Drain and cool.

Cut the pepper, aubergine, and onion into slices.

Mix potatoes, tomatoes, pepper, and onion in a large bowl.

Peel and finely chop the garlic. Peel and finely grate the ginger. Pick the coriander (or cilantro) leaves and set aside, and then chop the stalks.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan.

Add the garlic, ginger, coriander (or cilantro) stalks, mustard seeds, curry, turmeric and cumin. Cook for 2 minutes, or until fragrant, set aside to cool.

Add the spice mixture to the potato mixture in a casserole dish. Arrange the chicken on top, and season with salt and pepper.

Roast for 1 hour, until the chicken in fully cooked.

For the Dressing

While chicken is cooking, blend together mint, lemon juice, ginger, yogurt, and chili until smooth. After chicken is done, top chicken with sauce and serve immediately. Enjoy with a fresh green lettuce salad with light oil/vinegar dressing!


To learn more about Jamie Oliver and his incredibly delicious and healthy recipes, click here.

Good Olde Potato Salad

Inspired by The Tasha Tutor Cookbook.

Made with  local farm fresh and organic ingredients. And most importantly love.

Serves 6-8

Ingredients and Step-by-Step instructions

Step 1.)

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6-8 medium potatoes or 8-10 small potatoes

  • Peel, cut into a quarter inch slices, Place in a pot with water just covering and bring to boil.
  • Reduce heat to medium low, and steam until soft enough to pierce with a fork.
  • Drain and place in a serving bowl.
  • Sprinkle a little white wine, rice, or white vinegar over the potatoes and let sit until cool.

Step 2.) Bring 5-6 eggs to a boil, remove from heat, and let sit for 10 minutes. Chop into halves.

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Step 3.)  Cut and prepare vegetables and herbs

ingredients capture

  • 2-3 small red and white onions
  • 2-3 sticks of celery
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic
  • a spring of thyme
  • and a few leaves of basil (to garnish)

 

Step 4.) My Variation of Tasha Tutor’s French Dressing

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  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 large clove garlic (or 3 small cloves) pressed
  • 3 Tbsp. ketchup
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • kosher salt & pepper to taste
  • Mustard seed powder (or yellow mustard)
  • a few drops of Sriracha sauce
  • a drops drops of Worcestershire sauce
  • a few leaves of thyme

Combine all ingredients in a pint mason jar. Cover and shake well. Store at room temperature until ready to use. Makes approximately 1 cup.

Step 5.)

Add onions, garlic, celery, thyme, and eggs to the potatoes in the large serving bowl. Add 1 cup of Hellman’s Mayonnaise. Add a 1/2 cup of the dressing to the salad mixture. Sprinkle basil leaves on top. Taste to measure. Serve cold.

(Optional for those meat-eaters!) When ready to serve, Add bacon pieces to the salad-mix well.

 

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Enjoy!