Easy Peasy Pesto

August 30, 2012

Pesto is such a flavorful condiment, I honestly don’t know why I don’t make it more often.  The variations on this basic recipe are endless and the fact that there’s no cooking involved in preparing it, makes it perfect for whipping up on a hot summer day.  It’s so versatile it can be used on pasta, fish or even a burger.

Tell me, what do you like to serve your pesto on?


Pesto spread on wheat buns for Portabello Paninis

Basil Pesto

printable recipe

  • 1 bunch fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 2 large garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Pulse the basil, pine nuts, garlic, salt, and pepper in a food processor until finely chopped. With the motor running, slowly add the olive oil and continue processing, stopping to scrape the sides of the bowl as needed, until the mixture forms a thick paste. Transfer to a medium bowl and stir in the Parmigiano. Season to taste with more salt and pepper.


Ancient Farro

May 2, 2011

I discovered farro a couple of months ago at a menu tasting for a work event.  It is said to be the oldest grain in the U.S. and can be cooked “risotto style” but is also delicious in soups and salads.  This easy make-ahead recipe is tasty on its own (I like to take for lunch) or a great fiber-filled side for any meal.  I get rave reviews whenever I prepare it and it’s currently one of my favorite things to throw together on a Sunday for the week.  I’m kinda obsessed with it.  After making it, I think you will be too.

Cook farro with red onion parsley and garlic

Cook farro with red onion, parsley and garlic

Cooling the farro after cooking

Cooling the farro after cooking

Farro Summer Salad

Farro Summer Salad

Farro Summer Salad Serves 8 to 12, as a side or main course
2 cups uncooked farro

1 medium red onion, cut in half
1 clove garlic
handful of fresh parsley plus 1 tablespoon finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more if needed
1 cup finely diced (about 1/4 “cubes) fresh mozzarella cheese
2 teaspoons minced pitted kalamata olives
1 pint grape tomatoes, cut into quarters
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh basil
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
scant 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (I’ve also used Walnut Oil,it’s  equally as yummy)
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons agave nectar (or honey)

1.Add the farro, one onion half, garlic, handful of parsley and salt along with 2 3/4 cups water to a 2 quart pot. Bring to a boil, then cover, reduce to a simmer, and cook for 10 minutes. Turn off burner and let sit, covered, for 5 more minutes. Discard the onion, garlic and large pieces of parsley. Spread out on a rimmed sheet pan and let cool completely (do not skip this step or the mozzarella will melt into the finished dish). Ask a question about this step.
2.Whisk together the olive oil, vinegars and honey to prepare the dressing. Chop the remaining onion half finely. Add onion, cooled farro, mozzarella, kalamata olives, tomatoes, remaining tablespoon of parsley and basil to a deep bowl. Pour the dressing over the ingredients and stir well to combine, using a long wooden spoon or rubber spatula. Season with salt and pepper. The salad is ready to serve, but can also be made and stored in the fridge, covered, one day ahead.