Sunday, June 12, 2011

Garden Fresh Pesto (Pareve)

 Garden Fresh Pesto -
it smells amazing!
(We need smell-o-vision!!)
Fresh!  It’s the time of year when we can finally start to get the locally grown fruits and vegetables, rather than the ones that were flown half way around the world.  The produce tastes better, smells better, and even looks better.  Local farmers’ markets are popping up where you can get all kinds of interesting and flavorful fresh fruits and vegetables. 

In my garden my mint has started to come up, and this past week we ended up doing our late vegetable planting like we always do…even though we had the best intentions to plant earlier!  The weather had other ideas L.  Now some of you may not know that I have a notorious brown thumb.  I kill plants.  I tell people “Please don’t give me a house plant as a gift – you are sending it to a sure death!”  Somehow though, my outside garden manages to grow through the summer, treating us with fresh yellow and red grape tomatoes, peppers and herbs.  I am even able to keep the basil I grow on my windowsill alive throughout most of the summer – it’s really a wonder!

The sad plant I've had
since graduate school!
I try hard to use the seasonal vegetables and herbs as much as possible in my cooking.  They are flavor and nutrient packed, and have that fresh picked taste – because they are freshly picked!!  One of my favorite recipes to make this time of year is GARDEN FRESH PESTO.  What I love about the recipe is that I literally have almost all the ingredients on hand throughout the summer.  The other thing that I really like about the pesto recipe is that it’s Pareve - there is no cheese in it, so it can be eaten with any gender meal…dairy or meat.  It’s also one of the healthiest things I make – processed vegetables with a little bit of heart healthy olive oil, and I serve it over healthy whole wheat or vegetable penne.  It’s great on omelets, pizza, crusty bread with some tangy feta, and I have even caught my husband eating it plain.  You know it’s good when your husband is shnookering the pesto!

I look out at my sad, droopy plant, late season garden with tons of optimism.  With lots of sunshine, rain, and a little bit of appropriate prayer, hopefully we’ll be literally enjoying the fruits of our labor this summer.  I’ll keep you posted…here’s hoping!!

This pesto has a little kick to it from the crushed red pepper.  For a milder, less spicy pesto reduce or omit the crushed red pepper and black pepper.

4                                  ripe plum tomatoes, cubed
1          cup                   fresh parsley leaves
½         cup                   fresh mint leaves
½         cup                   fresh basil leaves
½         teaspoon          crushed red pepper
½         teaspoon          black peper
⅓         cup                   extra virgin olive oil
Combine all the ingredients, except the olive oil, in a food processor bowl.  Pulse until ingredients are coarsely ground.  Add the olive oil and pulse until thoroughly combined.  Transfer to container with a lid and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes for flavors to blend.  Serve over your favorite healthy pasta.  Makes nearly 2 cups.
Note:  You can top the final dish with grated parmesan or shredded mozzarella for a delicious dairy dish!
The ingredients...
it doesn't get fresher than this!!
Basil, parsley & mint!!
More fresh ingredients...
Mint, basil & parsley in
the processor bowl...
Its SO green!!
Add the rest of the ingredients
except the olive oil...
Then add the olive oil and pulse again!
YUM!! It's pesto!  
Serve with pretty, healthy,
 and delicious
tri-colored penne...YUM!!

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These recipes are for sole, personal use of visitors to Sharon Matten -Edible Experience Kosher Everyday. Edible Experience Kosher Everyday recipes are for your enjoyment but are not to be posted or reprinted without express permission from Sharon Matten. 
Thank you!!

This weeks blog is dedicated to Mrs. Debbie Feiger (z”l),  
Devorah Nechama bas Chaya Malka.
She was an outstanding woman who will be sorely missed.

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