Posts Tagged ‘pesto’

Rosemary and Pepita Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto

Rosemary and Pepita Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto

One of the things I miss about summers are tomatoes; lush, juicy, plump, just-off-the-vine and bursting with flavour tomatoes, there is nothing quite like it.

The sombre grey clouds and rain make it easy to long for summer tomatoes, but I do love the calm this time of year offers, there’s cool gentleness to autumn that is comforting.

Tomorrow our neighbours to the south celebrate Thanksgiving, and with that begins the rush of the Christmas season. I’m a little unprepared for the season, I feel like it just crept up on us, how are we at the end of this year?

I remember getting a bag of pepitas (pumpkin seeds) early this past spring at the Trader Joe’s in Bellingham, uncertain but eager to try them. I sprinkled a handful over a quinoa and corn with roasted tomato salad.

Months later I spied the neglected pepitas in the cupboard and thought about the roasted cherry tomatoes, and the idea for this rosemary and pepita sun-dried tomato pesto was born.

Rosemary and Pepita Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Rosemary and Pepita Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto
Rosemary and Pepita Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Rosemary and Pepita Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto

We love pesto around here!

The first time we made this pesto we used slow roasted tomatoes; it was wonderfully savoury and rich, and tasted good on almost everything.

It’s a handy sauce to have in the fridge for quick weeknight meals. It’s fast become a household favourite, we use it on pasta, as pizza sauce, with roasted new potatoes, and it’s amazing on crusty bread and in sandwiches.

I prefer sun-dried tomatoes to slow roasted tomatoes for this pesto; it’s heartier and rustic with a much more intense and sweet tomato flavour. I get freshly dried sun-dried tomatoes that are soft and moist, but oil-packed tomatoes will work too or you will have to reconstitute very dry tomatoes.

I used the last of my pepitas a month shy of its expiration date. I guess time has passed; we tossed some into our granola in the summer and kept sprinkling them over salad, but mostly we made pesto.

Rosemary and Pepita Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto

Rosemary and Pepita Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto
A delightfully savoury pesto bursting with rich flavours!
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INGREDIENTS
  1. 1 cup (packed) sun-dried tomatoes
  2. 1 cup toasted pepitas
  3. 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary
  4. 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  5. 1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper
  6. 3/4 – 1 cup olive oil
  7. 1/4 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
DIRECTIONS
  1. In a food processor, add sun-dried tomatoes and pepitas, and pulse to combine
  2. Add rosemary, garlic, Aleppo pepper and salt and pulse into a chunky paste
  3. While the food processor is running, gradually pour in olive oil until desired consistency is reached, make it as smooth or as coarse as you want it.
  4. Taste and check for salt and pepper, adjust seasoning as preferred
  5. Use immediately, or store in a jar or airtight container covered in a thin layer of olive oil
NOTES
  1. I used dry-packed sun-dried tomatoes that were soft and moist.
  2. Pepitas are toasted pumpkinseeds, you can get them at the nuts or bulk section of most grocery and natural food stores.
the Whinery http://elsbro.com/blog/
Rosemary and Pepita Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto

Apple and Pesto Croissant Sandwich

Apple and Pesto Croissant Sandwich

If you follow me on Instagram (If you don’t, go take a peek, I’ll wait), you’ve probably seen a few photos of our balcony.

It’s a darling little balcony, dotted with colourful blooming flowers; hydrangeas, begonias, azaleas, lilies and a few other plants I can’t identify.

For years, come every summer, the balcony would lay bare save for the one plant that grew back, which always made me hopeful. I didn’t mind that the balcony was bare when we lived next door to one of the best parks in the world. We didn’t need plants on the balcony, we have a whole forest for our backyard, I used to think to myself.

However, we felt a little differently this summer, longing for a cozy spot just our own, a little refuge of an urban garden from the rest of the world.

Apple and Pesto Croissant Sandwich Apple and Pesto Croissant Sandwich
Apple and Pesto Croissant Sandwich

From our local garden centre we got advice on the best suitable plants for our shaded north-facing balcony; we came home with flowers and outdoor furniture… and our serene urban retreat was born.

I think I’m more enamoured with how quick and easy it was to create a green oasis in our little city apartment, seamlessly extending our living space; but I do love the balcony too, so much that it’s where we start and end our day.

We spend most of our time home on the balcony now; we have meals, take naps and fill long sunny evenings chatting and watching the daylight fade away.

That first morning we woke up giddy and excited for breakfast out on the balcony; we planned on this pesto croissant sandwich simply because it’s ideal for those lazy weekend mornings when you just want to linger.

Apple and Pesto Croissant Sandwich

Apple and Pesto Croissant Sandwich Apple and Pesto Croissant Sandwich

This is one of my favourite sandwiches; the combination of apple, pesto and croissant is a little unusual but so very good.
It’s fitting for a summer breakfast, light and satisfying and divine with a pot of good tea.

Continue Reading Apple and Pesto Croissant Sandwich + Recipe…!

Quinoa, Chickpea and Pesto

Quinoa, Chickpeas and Pesto

I’ve been feeling a little rushed lately; at work and at home… even my thoughts seem hurried and moments feel hastened.

I’ve never been a fan of this culture of busyness, what a truly bizarre way to live – It’s like everything I do is just so I can get to the next important thing,

I promised myself I’d have a real summer this year, so I’ve made a summer bucket list of sorts, of all the idyllic ways I want to spend this summer.

It’s not a crazy list, just a few perfectly ordinary things… like long hazy sundrenched days on the beach, impromptu picnics with old friends, lazy al fresco dining, endless road trips, and cozy evenings by a secluded lake alternating between naps and reading trashy novels.

Quinoa, Chickpeas and Pesto

With that in mind, I’m trying to step back from this constant itch to be dynamite and surge through everything.

I’m taking the slower approach and living more in the moment; the other day it occurred to me that we were already in the throes of summer and I hadn’t tackled my list yet.

So while I go off taking a shot at a memorable and slow summer, I’ll leave you with this ridiculously easy quinoa and chickpea tossed in pesto. It’s more of a concoction than a recipe, an addition to your ways-to-eat-pesto dish repertoire, especially if you’re as obsessed with making pesto as I am.

Marcona Almond and Mint Pesto Quinoa, Chickpeas and Pesto
Quinoa, Chickpeas and Pesto Quinoa, Chickpeas and Pesto

This meal requires turning on the stove, which I guess isn’t a very summery activity when temperatures are high, but it’s quick, can be made ahead of time and ideal for dinner on the beach or enjoyed al fresco on your patio or balcony with a glass of rosé.

I always almost have a jar of pesto in the fridge; you’ll remember this marcona almond and mint pesto from a few posts ago.
It’s delicious with quinoa; I sauté onions and sundried tomato in olive oil, throw in some cooked chickpea, a generous heaping of pesto, and add cooked quinoa – and that’s it, a nice change from the traditional pasta.

I can’t wait to share my wonderful summer escapades, hope you’re having a wonderful summer too; even if it’s not summer where you are – savour the moment!

Quinoa, Chickpeas and Pesto
Quinoa, Chickpeas and Pesto


Quinoa, Chickpeas and Pesto

Marcona Almond and Mint Pesto

Marcona Almond and Mint Pesto

We’ve had a couple of really, really wonderful sun-filled days; I think if I don’t document them somehow, it’ll feel like they never happened when I’m back to trudging through puddles in my rain boots a week from now.

I’m talking tank-tops and flip-flop weather; it is as if we skipped spring and headed straight for summer. I even stopped taking my Vitamin D pills for fear I’d overdose.

Unfortunately, my week was inundated with mostly ‘stuff’ that didn’t include spending my free time outdoors – from the mounting pile of laundry to filing tax adjustments with the CRA and a million other tedious little tasks in between.

Thankfully I had pesto so dinners weren’t too much of a chore; I love pesto for this, I can quickly toss a spoonful with pasta, potatoes, couscous, quinoa… whatever, and hey presto, dinner is ready!

Whenever I’m making pesto, I make sure to double the recipe and freeze some for later, and boy, does it ever come in handy.

Marcona Almond and Mint Pesto Marcona Almond and Mint Pesto

It took me a while to come around to making this marcona almond and mint pesto; I’ve become quite enamoured with these almonds in recent years, I went from not knowing they existed to wanting to put them in everything.

I get like that with certain foods sometimes, I discovered green raisins at the nut store last week and I’m having a moment with it also, I want to make soda bread with them badly.

I already love almonds in pesto, they impart a nutty savoury taste and make the sauce really shine.

Marcona almonds are a special kind of almonds, delicate and sweeter, they have a more buttery flavour than regular almonds. It’s my favourite nut to snack on at the moment.

Mint and marcona almonds make a wonderful pairing in this pesto, the buttery sweet flavours of the almonds compliments the mint’s refreshing and bright essences, and a nice fruity extra-virgin olive oil rounds out the pesto beautifully.

Marcona Almond and Mint Pesto
Marcona Almond and Mint Pesto Marcona Almond and Mint Pesto

Marcona Almond and Mint Pesto

Roasted Tomato and Basil Pesto

Roasted Tomato and Basil Pesto Roasted Tomato and Basil Pesto

This weekend’s weather has been a gentle reminder that summer isn’t going to last forever; We’ve had so many gorgeous sunny days that I’d almost forgotten what a dull grey day looked like.

I’m not ready for summer to be over, not quite yet – there are a few more wonderful sun-soaked days to enjoy and even more bountiful fruits, vegetables and herbs of the season to be had.

I think I may have eaten more tomatoes this summer than any other; we must have had a bumper crop year.

A few weekends ago while I was contemplating what to do with the case of tomatoes I’d gotten at the market, a kind friend gave me a large ‘bouquet’ of basil – hand-tied and wrapped in pretty paper like the most delicate of flowers.

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I knew I’d make pesto, and maybe marinara sauce, but mostly lots and lots of pesto.

Then I thought of this roasted tomato and basil pesto I’d seen recently, I’d thought then that it was too similar to this tomato, basil and cashew sauce I made a few months back, but now that we’re in high summer and I can’t get enough of tomatoes, it’s just perfect! – this recipe is a celebration of the abundant vegetables and herbs of the season.

It’s not the prettiest looking pesto, I wish it looked more tomatoey, but the taste is phenomenal and that’s what matters the most.
I haven’t done a lot of cooking and baking lately, mostly due to other leisurely endeavours and a generous sister who loves to cook, but this pesto has been great to have around all summer long.

It’s quick tossed with pasta, roasted potatoes, or as a sandwich spread or with grilled vegetables… and dinner’s quick and a breeze with this pesto around!

IMG_8867 Basil & Tomatoes
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