Basic Pesto Recipe

To me, pesto is just a word for some green leaves, some ground up with some nuts or seeds, salt, oil and maybe some cheese or lemon or lime juice. It tastes great with all sorts of variations. Use the general proportions below and see what suits your fancy.  Or use whatever you need to use up from your share. I frequently throw in a mix of greens - a handful of basil, arugula and parsley, for example. You can use nuts or seeds or cheese, or not. As a general rule, green things in the brassica family, like cabbage and broccoli, get a bit on the smelly side when ground up. I usually steer clear of them for this use.

Ingredients

2 cups green leaves (basil, cilantro, arugula, wild picked amaranth, dill, mustard greens.......)

2 - 6 tablespoons nuts or seeds (walnuts, pine nuts, almonds, cashews, sunflower seeds.......)

2 large cloves garlic or 1 garlic scape

½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

½ cup freshly grated parmesan or romano cheese

directions

Place nuts or seeds, cheese and garlic or scape in food processor. Pulse to chop finely. Add greens and oil. Pulse until smooth. Add a dash of lemon or lime juice to brighten the flavor, if desired, or pour it on top of packed pesto to maintain bright green color. 

 

 

 

Creamy Beet Hummus

2 small beets - topped trimmed off
2 cups cooked chickpeas
1/4 cup salt
2 tsp tahini
1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp water
2 tbsp fresh rosemary

Preheat oven to 375F. Wrap beets in foil and cook for 30-40 min, or until they can be easily pierced with a knife. Run beets under cold water for a few moments, and when you're sure they are cool, slip the skins off with your fingers. Quarter beets and set aside.

Place beets and chickpeas in a food processor and pulse to combine. Add the salt, tahini, lemon, and vinegar. Turn the processor on and drizzle in (as the motor is running) 2 tablespoons of water. Process the mixture for a full minute or two stopping to scrape down the bowl now and then.

When the hummus is totally creamy, pulse in the rosemary and Serve!

Makes 4 servings

Tomato Leek Sauce

This recipe is adapted from the Washington Post. It is delicious and versatile. Serve it over any cooked grain (try the barley, wheat berries or triticale from the farm), over potatoes, pasta, fish or chicken for an easy meal. Add a hot pepper for some heat or some fennel or fennel seeds for a change of pace. 

Ingredients:     

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 cups thinly sliced cleaned leeks (white and light-green parts)

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 sprigs thyme

4 medium tomatoes, coarsely chopped, plus their juices

1/3 cup sauvignon blanc or other dry white wine

Coarse or flaky sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

DIRECTIONS:

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Once the oil shimmers, add the leeks, garlic and thyme. Stir to coat, and reduce the heat to medium; cook for 8 to 10 minutes, until tender but not browned, stirring occasionally.

Add the tomatoes plus their juices and the wine, then season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook uncovered for about 30 minutes, adjusting the heat as needed. The mixture will thicken and begin to look like a chunky sauce. 

Discard the thyme sprigs. Taste, and adjust the seasoning before serving or cooling and storing.

 

Cilantro Dipping Sauce

2 hot jalapenos, seeds removed(or other hot pepper to taste)

2 cups loosely packed cilantro

1/2 cup sour cream (or mix of 1/2 sour cream and 1/2 yogurt)

2 cloves garlic

2 Tablespoons lime juice

1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar

salt to taste

1/4 - 1/2 cup olive oil

Put all ingredients in food processor and process until smooth. Use as sauce for fish, meat or tofu or as dip for bread, french fries or veggies.

 

Hot Weather Baba Ghanoush

I have long made baba ghanoush, but only this year was I so inspired to cook the eggplant outside to keep the kitchen as cool as possible. This is a flexible recipe and you may cook the eggplant in your oven, but I tried it outside and loved staying cool and loved the taste. The recipe may be cut in half. Experiment with how much of each ingredient you like. 

2 pounds eggplant (about 4 medium)

2 T tahini

4 T lemon juice

1 clove garlic (roasted garlic is also delicious in this recipe)

parsley

salt to taste

olive oil to taste

Place eggplant on medium hot grill and bake approximately 25-35 minutes, or until outside is charred and center is super soft. If the juice drips out, that's great. Let cool slightly and scoop eggplant out into colander or salad spinner. Let drip in colander for 1/2 hour or spin to get some of the water out (it will be creamier and thicker if you do this step). Add additional ingredients, except parsley and olive oil, and puree in food processor or blender until smooth and creamy. Add olive oil, if desired, to make in creamier. Add a little cayenne or zatar to spice it up. Serve with pita, flatbread, veggies or crackers. Great in a pita sandwich stuffed with fresh tomatoes and cucumbers. 

Carrot Top Pesto

This is what happens when your daughter grows up and joins her own CSA - you get new recipes! This recipe comes via the Intervale Community Farm, via Anna. Why didn't I ever come up with this one? I did add a few options for variety.

Ingredients:

2 cups carrot tops

1 cup basil leaves (can also replace some basil with more carrot tops or parsley)

1/4 cup olive oil

1/3 cashews or other nuts

garlic and cheese (if desired)

Puree all ingredients together until smooth. Serve over pasta or whole grains, spread on bread or drizzle over steamed veggies.

 

 

 

 

 

Rhubarb Salsa

Ingredients:

Rhubarb (10 stalks cooked)

Small tomato

Small onion

Celery (2 stalks)

Hot peppers (a few slices)

Garlic (2 cloves)

Lemon juice/lime juice (to taste)

 

Directions:

Simmer chopped rhubarb in small amount of water in sauce pan until soft. Finely chop all other ingredients. Once rhubarb is cooled, combine all ingredients together and let chill in refrigerator.