Showing posts with label simple sauces. Show all posts
Showing posts with label simple sauces. Show all posts

Thursday, November 7, 2013

every last bite

As much as I love comforting fall foods, I have to admit I miss the fresh produce summer provides - especially tomatoes. Unfortunately, once the temperatures start to dip I want a salad less frequently. But as the final bits of this years' harvest make it in my CSA bag, I am determined to find a way to use and savor every last bite. This recipe for roasted roma tomatoes in fresh herbs does just that.

You will need:
1 quart of roma tomatoes
extra virgin olive oil
kosher salt
freshly ground pepper
fresh herbs, such as basil and oregano

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Quarter the roma tomatoes. Remove seeds by sliding your fingers down the sides. Place on baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with kosher salt. Top with freshly ground pepper. Lightly chop fresh herbs and scatter over tomatoes. Place in oven for two hours. Remove and let cool. Store in air tight container like jar or freezer bag. Place in freezer for up to six months.

These chewy flavor packed tomatoes can be used to top a pizza, tossed in with your favorite pasta, or blended into you favorite sauce with the help of a food processor. The would be great chopped into an omelet or quiche. Along with come wilted spinach they would be wonderful on top of a grilled portabella. You can even make a fantastic pesto spread with them. The possibilities are endless. And I am going to enjoy every last one.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

honey do

My dear, sweet hubby has a never ending honey do list. He gets sent reminders all the time with things like - I need you to get ice cream and salmon on your way home, and could you see if anyone is still selling kiddie pools, oh, and the cable box in the kitchen isn't working, and the mosquitos are so bad in the backyard, can you fix that? Poor fella. He not only works full time at the office, but I keep him busy on his "down time" too. I do try to sweeten my requests by keeping him well fed with homemade goodies - like this strawberry honey jam. Good for a quick he can eat and then get to work ;)

To make your own you will need:
6 cups of fresh strawberries, hulled and halved
1 cup of honey
1 cup of sugar
the juice from half a large lemon

Bring a large pot of water to just below a boil. Place jars and lids in the pot and sanitize them for several minutes.

In the meantime, place the strawberries in a separate large pot along with the sugar and honey. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Use a potato masher to break up the fruit into smaller pieces. Reduce the heat to a simmer and add in the lemon juice. Stir on final time.

Remove a jar and a lid from the other pot. Using a funnel, add the jam to the jar. Careful not to overfill the jars, leave a little space at the top. Place the lid on the jar and close tightly. Repeat process until you are out of jam.

Return the now full jars to the already warmed pot of water. Bring the water up to a boil and cook for at least twenty minutes. Remove the jars and place them on a towel on the counter to cool for at least twenty-four hours. Do not move the jars. If you hear a popping noise you may need to re-process them. Store in a cool dry place or serve immediately.

My whole family loves this jam. Even my honey. Add making it to your to do list and you won't be disappointed.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

refill please

Every year for Christmas my closest friends and family are the (lucky?) recipients of some creations from my kitchen. Everything from cinnamon fig preserves to rosemary garlic butter, I make little jars of love throughout the year, store them away, and then ship them off. Those who live close often get extras as batches are made. My mother and my best friend, however, are a bit more forward with their requests. A jar that once was full with apple butter will be returned empty and cleaned...with the implication that is needs to be refilled.

Recently, my bff showed up with a small jar that once held basil pesto made from herbs grown in my own yard. It was pristine and had a small note attached that read, "for pesto." This wasn't a reminder of what I had put in there in the past, so much as an order for what needed to go back in. As it would have it I just made a batch of spicy collard green pesto with some goodies from my CSA. So I reached into my fridge and simply exchanged jars.

To make your own, or some for your friends and family, gather these ingredients:
4 cups of collards greens, destemmed
water for boiling
3 large garlic cloves
1 cup of oil
1 cup of parmesan cheese
1/2 cup of walnuts or pecans
1/2 teaspoon of red chili pepper flakes
kosher salt and grated pepper to taste

Chop greens coarsely. Blanch them in boiling water for 3-4 minutes. Remove to colander and rinse with cold water to stop cooking. Place greens in food processor with remaining ingredients. Blend thoroughly.

I ate my portion of the batch on small toast bites, almost like a dip. But this spicy and strong spread would be great on a pizza too. I'm sure my best friend will find her own way to use up this twist on pesto...and then I will get another empty jar.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

a bounty of basil leads to the perfect pesto

The carnivore and I are really enjoying our herb garden. We went away to Mexico for a week and came back to an abundance of basil. I'm not sure if it was because we weren't home using it in all our Italian dishes or if all the rain caused a growth spurt. In any case it wasn't a problem. I just decided to make some homemade pesto. I got the exact ingredients from SimplyRecipes.

They include:
2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan-Reggiano or Romano cheese
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup pine nuts or walnuts
3 medium sized garlic cloves, minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

I didn't have quite enough pine nuts so I actually used a mix of both pine nuts and walnuts. You start by placing the basil leaves, the nuts, and the garlic in a food processor . Pulse till blended well. Then drizzle in the olive oil slowly. Next add the Parmesan cheese a little at a time till combined completely. Top with salt and pepper to taste. And voila! You have beautiful basil pesto. It makes about one cup.

menu ideas:
I tossed the pesto with thin spaghetti as a side dish on this particular night. The carnivore had the pesto pasta with salmon and I had sauteed eggplant. The other side was zucchini and goat cheese tarts. I also like to use the pesto instead of pizza sauce on a simple ricotta pizza. And, it is fine on its own on a toasty piece of bread.
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