Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Two Pesto Recipes and A Book Recommendation

Pesto Avocado Stuffed Tomatoes
Cook's notes: This is an easy appetizer where the filling can be made ahead as well as the prep for the tomatoes. Substitute a zip loc quart bag with a corner snipped for a pastry bag and pipe filling on the tomatoes. 
Recipe from Midwest Living 
  • 30 cherry tomatoes 
  • 1/2 medium avocado, pitted, peeled, and cut up
  • 2 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons homemade or purchased basil pesto
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • Snipped fresh basil 
  • Cut a thin slice from the top of each tomato. (If desired, cut a thin slice from bottoms of tomatoes so they stand upright.) With a small spoon or small lemon baller carefully hollow out the tomatoes. Line a baking sheet with paper towels. Invert tomatoes on the towels. Let stand 30 minutes to drain.
  • Meanwhile, for filling, in a food processor bowl combine avocado, cream cheese, pesto, and lemon juice. Cover; process until smooth. Spoon filling into a pastry bag fitted with a large plain round or open star tip.
  • Place tomatoes, open sides up, on a serving platter. Pipe filling into the tomato cups. Serve immediately or cover loosely and refrigerate up to 4 hours before serving. Sprinkle with snipped basil before serving. Makes 25-30 appetizers.
Whole Wheat Penne Pasta with Walnut Pesto

Cook's notes: Walnuts add an earthiness to the sauce and a heart healthy alternative to pine nuts.
Recipes serves 2 and was adapted from yvettesgourmetkitchen.wordpress.com
  • 2  cups whole wheat penne pasta (dry) 
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Pinch of kosher salt and cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 cup fresh walnut pieces
  • 2 cups chopped fresh basil, plus extra for garnish
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for garnish
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil or lemon olive oil

  • Place the garlic, salt, pepper, walnuts, basil, lemon juice and cheese in a food processor. Slowly pour the olive oil over the whole mixture. Cover and process for about 30 seconds. Remove cover and with a rubber spatula scrape the sides down. Cover and process for another 30 seconds.
  • Cook pasta according to directions, about 8 minutes. Drain the pasta and add 4 tablespoons of the pesto into the pasta. Mix well to incorporate the pesto. Serve with some additional grated Parmesan cheese and some basil.

Bon Appetit!
Paula McLain, author of the bestseller The Paris Wife, now returns with her keenly anticipated new historical fiction novel that transports readers to colonial Kenya in the 1920s. 
Circling the Sun brings to life a fearless and captivating woman—Beryl Markham, a record-setting aviator caught up in a passionate love triangle with safari hunter Denys Finch Hatton and Karen Blixen, who as Isak Dinesen wrote the classic memoir Out of Africa.
A book for your list! 

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