A brief statement of purpose

There are already about a billion food blogs, so what might be a justification of yet another one, and who am I to do it?

What I aim to do in this blog is more than simply provide recipes. While recipes of my own will, in fact, be posted, some of the blog will consist of a variety of comments about restaurants and their practices, food preparation tips, personal annoyances (such as loud restaurants and the epidemic of misspellings on menus), and whatever else pops into my head relating to what we put in our mouths (and swallow, I hasten to add). The whole thing is meant to be somewhat provocative. I hope, if nothing else, it won't be boring. I, of course, solicit reader participation.

As for who I am and why I think I might have something to contribute to public discussions on this essential and pleasurable activity - eating - you'll have to click here.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Pasta with kale and hazelnut pesto

 The photograph isn’t particularly mouth-watering, but you don’t eat the photo; you eat what’s in the photo, and I think that passes the taste test rather nicely. 
   There are many variations on the classic pesto which uses pine nuts, basil, and cheese, and this is one of them. This is the season for nice greens, which aren’t paired with pasta as often as I think they could be. Either kale or mustard is good here, although for a bit less bite, you could use chard or collards. I suggest not using spinach because it would cook down to almost nothingness in this recipe and wouldn’t produce as much “presence” as the heartier greens. 
   If it’s at all possible for you to use walnut, almond, or hazelnut oil instead of olive, please do so. It adds quite a lot to the pesto. Do not, by the way, be tempted to use sesame oil. That’s a whole different commodity which wouldn’t work in this recipe.
Hazelnuts, 1/2 c
Garlic, 1 clove
Parsley, 1/2 c
Fresh oregano leaves, 2 Tbs
Extra virgin olive oil or nut oil, 1/2 c
Salt and pepper
Kale or mustard greens, a rather large bunch
Olive oil, 1 Tbs
Beef stock or broth, 1+ cup
Shallot, 1 chopped
Pasta, 8 oz.
Red chile flakes

Toast the nuts and place in a blender or processor along with the garlic, parsley, oregano, and oil and mince. Add the salt and pepper. Set this aside.
Trim the leaves of the greens from the stems, keeping the former and discarding the latter. Finely chop the leaves. Heat the olive oil in a pot large enough to accommodate the greens, then add the shallot and saute briefly, then the greens. Add the broth, cover the pot, and simmer for a few minutes. Add pepper. 
In the meantime, cook the pasta, drain it and return to its pot. Add the greens and broth mixture and mix. Turn out to plates, making sure some of the broth is included. Top with the hazelnut pesto. Add the chile flakes if you like a bit of a kick.
This recipe makes two to three servings.

1 comment:

  1. Very nice pesto recipe, I am thinking the kale or the mustard greens would be two distinct flavors to try. Thanks for a new pesto recipe, appreciate it.