Is it time to put away the roasted root vegetables and bring on the fresh herbs? Well maybe not quite, but it’s feeling and looking more like spring. The days are longer and new growth is peeking out from under last year’s dry brush. Forget-Me-Knots and California Poppies adorn the hillsides and instantly make me feel happy. Perhaps they are working in cahoots with Pharrell on his happiness project. For those few who haven’t heard Pharrell’s “Happy” song (if that’s even possible) click here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y6Sxv-sUYtM (Or maybe you just want to listen to it while you read the rest of this post which is fine because I listened to it while I was writing it). More on the garden this Friday so gardeners stay tuned.
Spring Pasta Recipe: My son, Dylan, loves pesto on pasta, pizza and sandwiches (and he just came home for spring break), so this Vegetarian Times recipe for Broccoli Pesto caught my eye. I actually loved this pasta! I could stand at the kitchen counter and eat the pesto by the spoonful (and just maybe I did). It’s delicious and simple. It tastes like it has cheese and/or something creamy. but it is vegan and fairly low calorie. I used pine nuts (instead of hazelnuts because I wanted a creamier sauce). I left them raw for the pesto and dry toasted as a topping. The combination of herbs, including fresh mint, make it taste spring fresh. The addition of broccoli is a nice twist which also ramps up the nutritional value of the meal. As a Superfood, broccoli is low in fat and calories (only 31 per cup), rich in vitamins, minerals, beneficial phytochemicals and a good source of fiber. Somehow it doesn’t taste like broccoli so you may be able to slip some extra veggies into someone you love. My Carb-fearing husband had three portions! I will definitely make Pasta with Broccoli Pesto again. Store any leftover pesto in a container and pour a thin layer of olive oil on top to prevent it from turning brown.
Ingredients: 6 Tbsn hazelnuts, plus more for garnish (or pistachios/pine nuts) Directions:
Bow Ties with Broccoli Pesto
2 cups broccoli florets
12 oz farfalle pasta (bowtie)
1 1/2 cups loosely packed parsley leaves
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsn olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1/2 cup mint leaves
4 tsp lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp grated lemon zest
1 1/2 tsp capers, rinsed and drained
5 large garlic cloves, peeled
6 Tbsn hazelnuts, plus more for garnish (or pistachios/pine nuts)