What else can I do with my pesto?

20130520-115842.jpgNow that you know how to make pesto with all the leafy greens you are getting this spring, what else can you do with the pesto? I love making “bread salad” out of old hard rustic bread.  This bread salad is also known as panzanella.  It is super easy and tastes amazing. Basically you will take hard bread and cut it up into cubes and then essentially toss it all together with lots of olive oil, vinegar, tomatoes and cheese, along with anything else your hear desires!

 

Step 1.  Cut into cubes or chunks your hardened and dried/crusty bread

Step 2.  Dice tomatoes, cheese (I prefer mozzarella), herbs, veggies, etc

Step 3.  I throw it all into a bowl and coat with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and add salt and pepper

Step 4.  Add any lettuces, arugula, spinach etc.

Step 5.  I added my swiss chard pesto

Step 6.  Add herbs, garlic, nuts etc to taste

Step 7.  Toss it all together with the bread and let sit until bread becomes soft and close to soggy.

You can add the oil and vinegar as you wish to the texture that you want.

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Finished Panzanella or bread salad is below.

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Swiss Chard pesto made easy

 

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Have you ever wondered what to do with all the greens you get from your local CSA like La Nay Ferme?

Well I have the answer. Make pesto! Whether its spinach, Swiss chard, arugula, parsley, cilantro or kale, pesto tastes good every time and seriously anyone can make it. Oh, pesto is healthy too.  Here is a link to a Kale Pesto I did last year

Though ill share my recipe in a moment here is a simple do it yourself explanation that will work every time.

You just throw greens, garlic, hard cheese, nuts, an acid and an oil into a blender or food processor and turn it on. Seriously that’s all there is to it.

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Here is my recipe I threw together today.

Place in blender in this order.
1. Half cup grated Parmesan cheese.
2. 1 cup walnuts
3. 4 garlic cloves
4. Packed greens to the top. I’d guess 20-30 leaves of chard.
5. Salt and pepper
6. Just under 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
7. Cup of olive oil. I used a little habañero oil and extra virgin.

Turn on blender. Once blending you will slowly drizzle in more oil (very slowly) while it all blends up to the consistency you want. The more oil you pour in the less thick the pesto will be. Use olive oil only.

A fresh and good pesto will be bright green and full of flavor. All the ingredients above can be swapped out with similar ingredients.

Greens of all sorts as mentioned above.
Acids: lemon, lime, or vinegars
Nuts: peanuts, cashews, pine nuts, almonds etc
Any kind of olive oils.
You can add herbs, onions, peppers etc too. Have fun and experiment.

I love Pesto on pizza, sandwiches, chicken, eggs, pasta, crackers etc. I have even used it as a salad dressing.

Here is to hoping you’ll love your pesto!

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Sushi at home

 

For the past couple of years my wife and I have kept a very cool secret, and have only revealed the truth of such secret to a few people.  I am not going to reveal the secret here either but contact me if you want to try to get the info from me.

We have had a sushi chef named Mogi, who is in our opinion the coolest and best sushi chef in Utah, come to our home and make amazing sushi for our friends and us and he charges much less than you would be charged for going out to an amazing sushi bar.

I normally share recipes and techniques on this blog, but today want to just showcase some of his amazing talents.  I have taken sushi classes and actually really love rolling my own sushi and making my very own twists on sushi.  I will share some info and a small recipe at the end.

The picture above is what he said was called butter fish and he is quickly charring it with a brulee torch.  This stuff was so wonderful it literally melted in your mouth.  Mogi is great because he does not just do rolls, but has all sorts of fresh fish and will do whatever you want.

Nigiri, which is shown in the last two photos, is when you take a rice ball and top it with raw fish.  Normally there is a pinch of wasabi beneath the fish but you can ask for it without, if you are not into wasabi.  Nigiri is not the same as sashimi, sashimi is just the raw fish that sits on top and would be served with no rice.  Just some quick info in case you wondered.

One of the trademark rolls that Mogi makes is when he combines sweet and hot or spicy.  It is great when he adds fresh jalapeno to the roll like you see above.  Normally he will also top the roll once cut, with eel sauce.  Eel sauce is very easy to make and you will see has absolutely no eel in it.  If you are not sure if you have ever had eel sauce, it is the dark sweet and sticky sauce many sushi chefs put on rolls.

To make eel sauce all you need is soy sauce and Mirin or japanese cooking wine and sugar.  As always you can make your own spin on this but here is how I make it.

Recipe for Eel Sauce

1 cup soy sauce to 1 cup sugar (just do equal parts)

1/4 cup or 1/4 the amount used above of Mirin

bring to a fast boil and reduce heat and cook down until thick as a syrup.  That is it, cool and enjoy on many asian foods.

You can add green onion or other flavors while boiling down if you want to enhance the flavor.

compound butter

First of all I need to start this post by giving full credit to my wife Hailey who made the compound butter that is in the pictures and to be honest has made any and all compound butters we have had in the home over the years!

There really is nothing more simple than compound butter, but it tastes great and gives the impression that you are a master chef.  In simple terms, all compound butter is, is taking store bought butter, softening it up and flavoring it with whatever you really want, then rolling it up and chiiling it so it becomes hard again.  You can use it on whatever you want.

This summer we have had 3 different occassions where we have had some kind of compund butter on our corn on the cob.  If memory serves me right the flavors were: jalapeno, cilantro lime and garlic and chive.

Have fun making up your own flavors and recipes and comment below of what you have found to be the best.  In addition to topping corn on the cob you could use compund butters on pancakes and waffles, steaks, baked potatoes, breads and dinner rolls, pastas etc.

Suggestion Recipes to get your mind started:

Butter, chives, shallots, garlic, salt and pepper

brown sugar, maple syrup, lemon juice, cinnamon

cilantro, lime, jalapeno, tomato

basil, dried oregona, parmesan cheese

 

Healthy Kale Pesto

This post is mainly pictures from our family blog and a kale pesto I did a month or two back.  Last night I got more kale from Jacobs Cove and what I think were beat or radish tops too.  My daughter who absolutely loves pesto had been asking when I was going to make it again since I have been making primarily baked kale chips.  So I just looked at what I had and said, “I am going to make some pesto!”
If you are not excited about pesto listen to this.  My father in law happened to be coming over last night and he tried the pesto and said something like this, “I cannot stand pesto but that stuff is amazing, I love it!”  I’m being serious here, so try it and enjoy.  Recipe near end of post
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Recipe:
Cleaned and washed Kale or other garden greens
fill your food processor or blender to top but do not press or force down
4-5 cloves or garlic
Salt and pepper to taste.  I like lots of pepper, but go easy on the salt, it is easy to over salt.
1/4 cup of red wine vinegar
half cup of almonds (I left skin on)
half cup of hard italian cheese like parmesan
olive oil to consistency
Once everything is in the blender EXCEPT the oil, turn the blender or processor on and slowly drizzle in olive oil until you get a smooth consistency.  Enjoy!