Large Batch Homemade Pesto

fresh pesto sauce

I planted basil in our garden this summer and was super excited when I discovered that I have enough to make a large batch of pesto, and freeze for the winter! I purchase the bulk pine nuts and Parmigiano Reggiano from Costco, which is so much more affordable than Whole Foods (Paycheck).  It is key to have a great food processor. I have a new “Breville Sous Chef Food Processor” that I received from my mother-in-law, that I absolutely love! Anyway, so here are the ingredients and the instructions.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound basil (9 oz leaves after removing stems)
  • ⅓ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 ½ cup fresh Parmesan Cheese (Parmigiano Reggiano)
  • 1 large clove of garlic
  • 1 Tsp. salt
  • 1 ½ cup pine nuts

Place the washed basil leaves, and oil in the food processor (using “S-Blade”), till minced, pausing occasionally to scrape in the basil on the sides. Add the cheese, garlic and salt and process until smooth. Add in the pine nuts at the end, you can make it as crunchy or smooth as you like. My son loves it chunky but my daughter likes it super smooth. You are now ready to place the pesto into ½ cup storage containers. Now you can freeze your batches. Thaw as needed, but please do not microwave. When you add to your pasta, please save some of the salted pasta water to thin out the pesto a little so it has a smooth and slightly liquid consistency.

Cobia (Black Kingfish) with Sweet Potato Puree

cobia-sweet-potato-puree

Here is another Cobia recipe I created using Open Blue’s sustainable fish. The family loved it!

What is Cobia? Cobia is a mild flavored white fish, and a great sustainable substitute for salmon or sea bass. It has also been called black kingfish. There is more info on this fish on my previous post (click here).  If you want to buy Cobia you can find it at this website: http://www.chefsfreshfish.com/Cobia-Fillet-p/e725a.htm

Ingredients for Sweet Potatoe Puree

  • 2 large sweet potatoes peeled
  • 1 cup of chicken broth (I recommend organic bone broth for a little extra protein)
  • ¼ tsp of grated nutmeg
  • ½ cup créme fraîche
  • ½ tsp of salt

Ingredients for tomato “bruschetta”

  • 3 tbsp of olive oil (EVOO)
  • ½ cup of shallots (diced)
  • 4 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 3 plum tomatoes (deseeded and finely chopped)
  • ½ lemon zest (finely grated)
  • pinch of salt
  • 4 basil leaves (thinly sliced)

Ingredients for Cobia fish

  • 4 (4-6 oz) pieces of Cobia filets (Open Blue’s)
  • 1 lemon
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp of organic butter

Directions for Sweet Potato Puree:

Cut sweet potatoes into 1 inch cubes. Steam for 10-15 minutes until soft. Place into food processor and puree, slowly adding in the chicken broth. Add in the nutmeg and salt. Puree until smooth. Add in the creme fraîche and puree briefly until you have reached a smooth creamy consistency.

Directions for Tomato bruschetta:

In a small sauce pan on low heat, add in the oil, shallots, garlic, tomatoes, and lemon zest. Salt to taste. Cook for 15 – 20 minutes on low heat, until tomatoes have softened and garlic and onions are clear.

Directions for Cobia Fish Fillets:

Pat the Cobia Fillets dry, squeeze lemon and add the salt and pepper. Can be done 30 minutes prior to cooking. In an iron skillet on medium-high heat, melt butter and sear the fish filets on both sides, making sure it is cooked all the way through and opaque.

Plating:

Place several spoonfuls of the sweet potato puree on each plate. Add the fish to the center and drizzle with the tomato bruschetta. Top with basil for decoration.

This also goes great with a side of kale salad.

Enjoy!

Serves 4

cobia-sweet-potato-puree-cu cobia-sweet-potato-puree-rice

Creamy Zucchini Pasta with Pecorino Cheese

creamy-zucchini-pasta

Yes, another pasta dish. Here is a simple pasta dish to make with some zucchini and pecorino. Makes 4 “european” size portions.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 small yellow onion diced approximately ¾” cup
  • 5 cloves chopped garlic
  • 4 small-medium zucchini chopped in ¼” pieces
  • ½ cup pecorino cheese
  • ½ cup cream
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh basil
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • salt to taste
  • 4 servings of pasta – I used spaghetti but I think Fussili or Farfale would have been better

Preparation:

In large pot, boil pasta water. Add pasta to salted boiling water. Zucchini takes about 15 minutes to time your pasta accordingly. In a large sauce pan, on medium-high heat melt the butter. Add in the onions and garlic until translucent. Add in the zucchini and cook until zucchini start to brown slightly.  Add in the cream and cook until it thickens. (If sauce gets too thick you can add in some of the pasta water). Add salt to taste and parsley and basil. Drain pasta keeping some water for reserve (to thin out the sauce if too heavy for your liking). Plate pasta onto each bowl, add the zucchini mixture. Add in the cheese to each plate. Toss before eating.

Large Batch Homemade Pesto

fresh pesto sauce

Our family LOVES pesto! I have tried different kinds of store bought pesto and really never discovered one I love, so I decided to make my own. We are fortunate enough to have access to large 1 lb. bags of basil, which I usually buy in 5 lb. increments. We also purchase the bulk pine nuts and Parmegiano Reggiano  from Costco, which is so much more affordable than Whole Foods. When I make pesto, I like to make it in large batches then freeze in 2 portion Tupperware containers (see photo). It is key to have a great food processor. I have a new “Breville Sous Chef Food Processor” that I received from my mother-in-law, that I absolutely love! Anyway, so here are the ingredients and the instructions.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound basil (9 oz leaves after removing stems)
  • ⅓ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 ½ cup fresh Parmesan Cheese (Parmigiano Reggiano)
  • 1 large clove of garlic
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 ½ cup pine nuts

Place the washed basil leaves, and oil in the food processor (using “S-Blade”), till minced, pausing occasionally to scrape in the basil on the sides. Add in the cheese, garlic and salt and process until smooth. Add in the pine nuts at the end, you can make it as crunchy or smooth as you like. My son loves it chunky but my daughter likes it super smooth. You are now ready to place the pesto into ½ cup storage containers. Now you can freeze your batches. Thaw as needed, but please do not microwave. When you add to your pasta, please save some of the salted pasta water to thin out the pesto a little so it has a smooth and slightly liquid consistency.

Red Pepper Pasta

 

red=pepper=pasta

I love this simple Red Pepper pasta, with a little kick of red pepper flakes.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp salted butter
  • 2 tbsp oil (EVOO)
  • 2 Bell Peppers
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ cup whipping cream
  • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes (use less if you have an aversion to spice)
  • 15 fresh basil leaves (sliced)
  • 1 box of spaghetti (300 grams) or 300 grams of fresh spaghetti

Instructions:

Boil water for pasta. I have my fresh pasta here which I will post the recipe to in a couple of days. Be sure to salt the water after water boils. Julienne the peppers into ¼” wide strips. Chop the onion into same size julienned strips. In a large skillet add the oil and butter to medium high heat, then add the onions and peppers, sauté for approximately 10 minutes until both are slightly browned. Add salt and toss. Add in the cream and the red pepper flakes and cook down till cream thickens. Pasta should be timed so that they are finished around the same time. Using pasta tongs, add spaghetti to the pan of peppers adding in some of the pasta water so that it dilutes the sauce a bit, so it’s not too thick. Stir pasta to coat all of the spaghetti. Place the pasta into bowls then add the sliced basil to the bowl. And voila!