Monthly Archives: June 2011

Asparagus Pesto

Matthew:  After have such success with the mint-lime pesto, I was excited to find a recipe for asparagus pesto on the NYTimes website.  It uses all the typical pesto ingredients, substituting basil with asparagus.  You first cook the asparagus al dente in water on the stove and then throw all the ingredients in the blender or food processor.  It’s pretty simple.  I ended up using toasted almonds instead of pine nuts.  The pesto was really quite delicious and made a nice meal on soba noodles accompanied by heirloom mini tomatoes.  Next, I tried it with some spaetzle and that didn’t really work.  It wasn’t bad, but it just didn’t feel right.  I ended up using the rest of it on salads as a dressing, which was delicious.  This pesto would really go well in most pasta dishes or vegetable salads.

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Rhubarb Streusel Muffins

Matthew:  As the rhubarb at the market gets bigger and more green each week, I decided that this week would be my last hurrah with rhubarb for the season.  I’ve done unconventional things thus far, so I thought I would try something more familiar.  I saw this recipe for rhubarb streusel muffins on Smitten Kitchen and thought it sounded good.  These muffins are sort of like rhubarb crisp in muffin form.  They were really quick to make and turned out very moist with the addition of sour cream.  I used 1:2 ratio of whole wheat to regular flour and that seemed to work out well.

Ok, so I guess my last use of rhubarb wasn’t entirely traditional.  In addition to making the muffins, I extracted some juice from the rhubarb and used it to make a really fantastic rhubarb margarita.  Juicing rhubarb is a little strange, but all you need is a blender and some cheesecloth or a sieve.  I followed the instructions for juicing here.  For the margarita, I used approximately 3 oz of rhubarb juice, 2 oz of tequila, juice from 1/2 a lime, and 2 oz plus more to taste of triple sec.  I have to say, this was the perfect summer drink!  Below is a photo of the juice before I made it into the margarita.

Rice with mint-lime pesto, asparagus, and cherry tomatoes

Matthew:  Some days, I just like to try something new and experiment in the kitchen without recipes.  I was pretty proud of myself for coming up with the idea to make pesto out of mint and lime juice.  There was a lot of mint for sale at the farmer’s market last week and I wanted to try using it in a savory dish.  For the pesto, I combined one bunch of mint, a healthy glug of olive oil, lime juice from one lime, 3/4 cup or so of almonds, one large clove of garlic, and 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese.  The resulting puree was refreshing and delicious.  Sort of like mojito meets normal pesto.  The pesto would have gone well with almost any grain or pasta, but I decided to choose brown rice.  I also added some roasted purple asparagus and really nice and sweet cherry tomatoes.  It turned out really flavorful and fresh-tasting.  It’s very rewarding when experiments lead to tasty dinners!