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Archive for March, 2011

You could probably make this dish in the time it takes to read this recipe.  It depends, of course, on good olives, which don’t come out of a jar or a can.  Ideally, you use green olives stuffed with garlic; this saves you the work of pitting them (although it’s probably a good idea to roughly chop the olives first to make sure no errant pits make their way into the food processor).  If you can’t find garlic-stuffed olives, use an equivalent amount of (pitted) green olives and throw one peeled clove of garlic into the mix.

This pesto is great tossed with chopped tomatoes for a quick salad.  It would also make a great pasta sauce, sandwich spread or dip for crudites.

makes about 3 cups of pesto

  • 1 c of green olives stuffed with garlic (Actually, by “1 c” I mean a few handfuls.  I have no idea how many olives actually made it into this pesto.  Ditto for the almonds.  If it’s too olive-y, add more almonds.  If it’s too almond-y, more olives.  Rocket science, this ain’t.)
  • 1 c of blanched, slivered almonds
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • olive oil as needed (about 1 c)

Double-check to make sure there are no pits in the olives, then put in the food processor along with the almonds, red pepper and a few grinds of black pepper.  Pulse a few times to roughly chop the olives and almonds, scraping down as needed.  Put the food processor on low and drizzle in the oil with the machine running.  Add enough oil to reach the desired consistency (I like this on the looser side).  Serve and enjoy.

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OK, truth be told, this is probably more accurately described as “vegetable soup with some beets thrown in”.  It doesn’t have that full-blown, beet-topia experience that one gets at Veselka.  It’s still pretty tasty, and when it’s 30 degrees and sleeting, it’s a nice thing to warm up to.

serves 4

  • 3 medium golden beets, scrubbed and trimmed, with the greens separated, washed thoroughly and reserved
  • about 4 c of Vegetable Stock
  • 1 clove of garlic, peeled
  • 1 large carrot, peeled
  • 1 medium onion, peeled
  • 1 large celery stalk, washed and trimmed
  • 2 c crimini mushrooms, washed

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Cut the beets in half, place in a baking dish and cover; roast in the oven until tender, about 1 hour.  Meanwhile, prepare the Vegetable Stock.

When the beets are done, remove them from the oven to cool (keep them covered, though, so that the skin comes off easily).  In a medium-sized pot, heat a few tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat.  Add the garlic clove.  Roughly chop the carrots, onion and celery and add with several pinches of salt to the garlic.  Saute, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender and brown in spots, about 10 minutes. Slice the mushrooms into 1/2-inch thick slices and add to the vegetables.  Saute until tender, another 10 minutes.

Peel the beets and roughly chop.  Add the cooked beets to the other vegetables; stir to incorporate.  Stir in the Vegetable Stock and reduce heat to a simmer.  Cook until the soup comes together (you’ll know it when you see it), about 20 minutes.  Serve piping hot with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkling of chives.

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