Friday, July 3, 2009

Couldn't Help Myself



I know. I know what I said about not blogging. But I'm having a cooking moment and I desperately want to share. Why? Because it's so friggin'good and the ingredients are happening NOW and the technique is so beautifully simple. I dedicated this whole day to quiet introspection and to cooking new things and I'm proud to say I've found a winner.

I just made Mint Basil Pesto (from my deck herb pots) and also my first ever ricotta gnocchi from scratch. the pesto is insane; bright, a little salty, rich and freshly herbaceous all in the same gasp.

you could use this on pasta, on lamb chops, grilled or pan seared fish, you could drizzle it over bruschetta with a dab of ricotta and freshly shelled peas or on - gasp - ricotta gnocchi (so easy to make!) Just so you know, I have been intimidated by doughs of all kinds. Just never wanted to go there - didn't think I could handle it. But my love of tactile pleasures in addition to the recipe's promise that it's super easy, fast (15 minutes!) and guaranteed to satisfy won me over. I also feel like I accomplished something - I learned something new and my senses are so incredibly happy.

MINT BASIL PESTO


this is adapted from a Giada De Laurentis recipe on foodnetwork.com:

throw everything but the olive oil in a food processor and turn it on. slowly drip the oil through the top as it's running and stop occasionally to spatula the sides down and re-integrate. pesto doesn't like air (it will turn dark) so put this in a jar and cover with additional oil on top if you'll be storing it. try and use it within 3 days.

1 1/2 cups lightly packed fresh mint leaves
3/4 cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted (I used closer to a quarter cup, actually)
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano
1.5 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 garlic cloves
3/4 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

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