Thursday, June 14, 2012

Pasta with Multi-Herb Pesto & Flash Fried Spring Veggies

CSA box conquered in one dinner:

A hailstorm thinned the proceeds for the first week of our CSA, so I won't go declaring victory over the piles of greens too loudly.  I found myself with a mix of relatively small quantities (about 5 sprigs each) of dill, parsley, cilantro, sage, and oregano, plus a lot of green garlic (scapes!  new to me!  curly and great-smelling!) and arugula.  I decided to blend them all into a pesto, and boy am I glad I did.

Heidi outlines the method for making pesto by hand here.  Basically though, you just need an ulu (or mezzaluna if you will) and about 45 minutes to chop, and chop, and chop, and chop.  Chopping by hand instead of with an electric blade really does lead to a whole different texture.  Plus, you know... wrist strength.... for.... better typing? 

I used all of the abovementioned herbs (though only a few leaves of the sage), and I am pretty confident that all kinds of other things - mint, tarragon, basil itself - would have blended just fine into the fresh springy flavor.  Instead of garlic cloves I used 3 of my scapes, and instead of parmesan I used a hard goat gouda (very goaty, great flavor with the herbs).  And of course, pine nuts:

After chopping, and chopping, and chopping, I finished with some lemon-flavored olive oil:

(I probably chopped for another 10 minutes after that pic....).  Then, I sliced a bunch of small red carrots; a small head of broccoli, and a bunch of asparagus into paper-thin ribbons, and chiffonade-d a few kale and kohlrabi leaves, then flash-fried these in very hot lemon olive oil with a little salt.  Tossed it all with fresh pasta as shown above.  Nothing like fresh veggies!!  <3

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