Pesto Grilled Shrimp Kabob & Pesto alla Genovese

Grilled Pesto Shrimp Kabob

 

Are you looking something super quick, super easy and super delicious?  Look no more!  Whip up some home-made pesto or if you are like me and have pesto in the freezer it is even quicker!  I ran out of pesto over the winter and determined not to be in that predicament ever again I planted a lot of basil in the garden this year and have made a gallon bag full of pesto already this summer.  I freeze it into ice-cube trays and then put it into freezer bags.  I will not ever, ever buy pesto in a jar ….. bleh!

Load up the skewers with shrimp and veggies and brush pesto over the shrimp.  I added red pepper and green onion.  On a preheated grill these will not take much more than 5 minutes – you do not want to over-cook shrimp … cook just until they turn pink and are no longer opaque.

ENJOY!

 

Pesto alla Genovese

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups fresh basil leaves (packed)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
2 tablespoons pine nuts or walnuts, toasted
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Directions

In the bowl of a food processor, combine the basil, salt, and pepper and process for a few seconds until the basil is chopped. Add the cheese, pine nuts, and garlic and, while the processor is running, add the oil in a thin, steady stream until a mostly smooth sauce is formed. Transfer pesto to a bowl and set aside. (Note: Pesto may be made 1 day in advance and kept, refrigerated, in an airtight container, until ready to use. If making in advance, be sure to cover the top of the pesto with a thin layer of olive oil to prevent the pesto from darkening. Pesto may also be frozen in the same manner in small quantities for use at a later date.)

Pesto Recipe – Source:  foodnetwork

Garlic Scape Pesto with Pasta – What in the World are Garlic Scapes?!

Pasta and Garlic Scape Pesto

What in the world are garlic scapes?  I never heard of garlic scapes until last fall when I planted 52 garlic bulbs and researched how to grow and harvest garlic.  I am loving garlic scapes!  I find that the scapes have a garlic flavor, but are slightly milder than the actual cloves.  I also made garlic scape hummus which I enjoyed immensely.  Give this Garlic Scape Pesto a try … it is habit forming.  Enjoy!

What in the world are garlic scapes?

source:  garlicfarmct.com

Garlic scapes, or flower stalks, emerge from hard-necked varieties of garlic–normally in June in Connecticut. The stalks wind up as they grow and form eccentric curlicues. Snipping off the scapes before the flowerheads mature allows the plant to direct more energy into the developing garlic bulb, and so we snip them off for a garlic scape harvest in mid-June.

When the garlic scapes are still in full curl, they are tender and succulent. They have a garlicky taste that is milder than the eventual garlic cloves, with the tender snap of just-picked asparagus. In fact, we often say that you can prepare garlic scapes pretty much any way you’d use asparagus–and more.

The garlic scape is an allium delicacy that is highly prized and traditionally used in Southern and Eastern European cuisines, along with Middle Eastern, Korean, and other Asian cuisines, which all value its subtly vegetal garlic flavor and tender-crisp texture.

Garlic scapes have many uses, from soup to salads to garnishes: grill, stir fry, use them raw on salads, blend them into hummus or habit-forming scape pesto (with or without other herbs), add them to tempura, soups, scrambled eggs, mashed potatoes, pasta dishes, and more. They work well as a main dish or on the side.”

Garlic Farm Legacy Scape Pesto Recipe

  • 1 cup (or less) freshly grated Parmesan cheese or other sharp Italian cheese
  • 1–2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime or lemon juice, adjusted to taste
  • 1/4 pound roughly chopped scapes
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • salt to taste

Puree scapes, olive oil, and juice in a blender or food processor until nearly smooth. (You can make a smooth paste if you prefer, but most people like a little texture in the pesto.) Gently stir in the cheese or gingerly pulse the cheese into the mixture; take it easy as you mix in the cheese to avoid making the pesto gummy by overblending. Taste and then adjust juice and salt to taste.

Store in the refrigerator to use within two or three days; freeze for longer storage. Scape pesto freezes well, and it holds its appealing green color when frozen even better than the traditional basil pesto.

I sautéed grape tomatoes and mushrooms in the pesto and added grilled chicken and tossed it with Penne pasta.

Garlic Scape Pesto and Pasta Closeup

Pasta Princess’s Penne and Chicken in Pesto Cream Sauce

Penne with Chicken in Pesto Cream Sauce

An almost empty zip lock bag of homemade pesto is staring at me in the freezer.  I’ve used a lot of pesto this year for my favorite pizza – chicken and pesto pizza with cherry tomatoes.  I’m loving this pizza so I thought why not incorporate these ingredients with pasta?  I came up with a winner that I will definitely be making again.  It is quick, easy and absolutely delicious.  Enjoy!

Pasta Princess’s Penne with Chicken and Pesto Sauce

 Ingredients:

  • 1 lb penne pasta
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 8 oz. mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes halved
  • ¼ cup home-made pesto*
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • ¼ cup reserved pasta water
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese
  • 2 Grilled boneless chicken breasts

Directions:

Grill chicken

While chicken is grilling cook penne according to directions.  Reserve ¼ cup of pasta water (the starch from the pasta thickens the sauce).

Dice red bell peppers, slice mushrooms and cut grilled chicken into bite size pieces.

Spray a large sauté pan with olive oil and sauté red bell peppers, and tomatoes on medium heat until peppers are tender crisp – approximately 8 minutes.  Add sliced mushrooms and chicken.  Continue to cook another 5 minutes.

Add pesto, heavy cream, reserved pasta water and parmesan cheese.  Cook until heated through.

Serve and enjoy!

 Penne and Chicken in Pesto Cream Sauce

 *Pesto alla Genovese

Recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse, 2004

Pesto Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups fresh basil leaves (packed)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts or walnuts, toasted
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Directions

In the bowl of a food processor, combine the basil, salt, and pepper and process for a few seconds until the basil is chopped. Add the cheese, pine nuts, and garlic and, while the processor is running, add the oil in a thin, steady stream until a mostly smooth sauce is formed. Transfer pesto to a bowl and set aside. (Note: Pesto may be made 1 day in advance and kept, refrigerated, in an airtight container, until ready to use. If making in advance, be sure to cover the top of the pesto with a thin layer of olive oil to prevent the pesto from darkening. Pesto may also be frozen in the same manner in small quantities for use at a later date.)  Note:  I freeze pesto in an ice-cube tray and then pop them into a zip lock bag.  I had almost a full bag of frozen pesto cubes from my basil this past summer.  It thaws quickly for use!

Thinking Outside the Noodle – Part III – Pasta Princess’s Pesto Fettuccine Noodles

Thinking Outside the Noodle – Part III – Pesto Fettuccine Noodles

Do you love home-made Pesto?  Why not combine it with home-made fettuccine noodles.  This is a wonderful addition to many pasta dishes!

Pesto (Source: Foodnetwork - Emeril Lagasse)

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups fresh basil leaves (packed)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts or walnuts, toasted
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Directions

In the bowl of a food processor, combine the basil, salt, and pepper and process for a few seconds until the basil is chopped. Add the cheese, pine nuts, and garlic and, while the processor is running, add the oil in a thin, steady stream until a mostly smooth sauce is formed. Transfer pesto to a bowl and set aside. (Note: Pesto may be made 1 day in advance and kept, refrigerated, in an airtight container, until ready to use. If making in advance, be sure to cover the top of the pesto with a thin layer of olive oil to prevent the pesto from darkening. Pesto may also be frozen in the same manner in small quantities for use at a later date.)

Pasta Dough – Pesto Flavor

  • 2-1/4 Cups Flour
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1/4 cup home-made pesto
  • 3-4 Tablespoons Water (as needed)
  • Dash of Salt

Directions:

Put eggs and pesto together in a bowl and wisk briefly. Combine flour and salt in mixing bowl. Make a well in the middle of the flour.

Add to the middle well of flour the eggs and pesto mixture, and water.  Add flour or extra water to dough as needed – consistency should not be sticky. With beater attachment, beat on low for 1 minute. Switch to dough hook and mix for 6 minutes. Take dough and cover in plastic wrap and let rest for at least 10 minutes.

Split dough in half and roll each half into desired thickness and cut into fettuccine noodles.

Coming Next:  Thinking Outside the Noodle – Part IV – Pesto Fettuccine Noodles with Shrimp Fra Diavolo

Pizza with Pesto, Grilled Chicken and Tomatoes

When I posted my first recipe for home-made pizza I talked about my on again off again love affair … with pizza.  Now that I have been making home-made pizza my love affair is going strong and I cannot stop!  I’m addicted!!  Making pizza is so much fun!  Pizza is so versatile and as far as toppings go … anything goes!  This is one of my favorite pizzas!  Try it and see for yourself!  Enjoy!

Basic Pizza Dough

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup warm water (about 110°)
  • 1 envelope (2 ¼ tsp.) instant yeast
  • 1 ¼ cups water, at room temperature
  • 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 cups (22 oz.) bread flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 ½ tsp. salt
  • olive oil or non-stick cooking spray for greasing the bowl

Directions:

Measure the warm water into a 2-cup liquid measuring cup.  Sprinkle in the yeast and let stand until the yeast dissolves and swells, about 5 minutes.  Add the room temperature water and oil and stir to combine.

Place the flour and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  Briefly combine the dry ingredients at low speed.  Slowly add the liquid ingredients and continue to mix at low speed until a cohesive mass forms.  Stop the mixer and replace the paddle with the dough hook.  Knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes.  Form the dough into a ball, put it in a deep oiled bowl, and cover with plastic wrap.  Let rise until doubled in size, about 1 ½ to 2 hours.  Press the dough to deflate it.

To bake, place a pizza stone in the lower third of the oven.  Heat the oven to 500° for at least 30 minutes.  Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface.  Divide the dough into two equal pieces.  Form both pieces of dough into smooth, round balls and cover with a damp cloth.  Let the dough relax for at least 10 minutes but no more than 30 minutes.

Working with one piece of dough and keeping the other covered, shape the dough and transfer to a pizza peel or round of parchment dusted with semolina or cornmeal.  Top as desired.  Slide the dough onto the pizza stone.  Bake until the crust edges brown and cheese is golden brown in spots, about 8 to 12 minutes.  Repeat with remaining ball of dough or freeze for later use.

Chicken Pesto Pizza
For the pesto:

You can use store-bought pesto, although I prefer home-made pesto – the taste is much better and it is a breeze to make.

Pesto alla Genovese

Recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse, 2004

Pesto Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups fresh basil leaves (packed)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts or walnuts, toasted
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Directions

In the bowl of a food processor, combine the basil, salt, and pepper and process for a few seconds until the basil is chopped. Add the cheese, pine nuts, and garlic and, while the processor is running, add the oil in a thin, steady stream until a mostly smooth sauce is formed. Transfer pesto to a bowl and set aside. (Note: Pesto may be made 1 day in advance and kept, refrigerated, in an airtight container, until ready to use. If making in advance, be sure to cover the top of the pesto with a thin layer of olive oil to prevent the pesto from darkening. Pesto may also be frozen in the same manner in small quantities for use at a later date.)  Note:  I freeze pesto in an ice-cube tray and then pop them into a zip lock bag.  I had almost a full bag of frozen pesto cubes from my basil this past summer.  It thaws quickly for use!

For the pizza:
1/2 batch basic pizza dough (enough for 1 pizza), at room temperature
Olive oil, for brushing
Shredded mozzarella cheese
Grilled chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces (about one chicken breast)
Cherry tomatoes, sliced in half

Directions
To make the pizza, preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.  Place a pizza stone in the oven while it is preheating, and let it heat up for at least 30 minutes.  Place a round of parchment paper the size of your pizza stone on a work surface and lightly sprinkle it with cornmeal.  Place the pizza dough in the center and roll it out into a large round using a lightly floured rolling pin, or a pulling/stretching motion with floured hands (I use both).  Leave an approximately 1-inch border that is thicker around the edges for the crust.  Lightly brush this outer edge of the crust with olive oil.  Spread a thin layer of pesto on the pizza crust using the back of a spoon.  Sprinkle with a layer of shredded mozzarella cheese.  Top with grilled chicken pieces and sliced cherry tomatoes.  Season with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste.

Carefully transfer the parchment round to the preheated pizza stone.  Place in the oven and bake until the cheese is bubbling and the crust is lightly browned, about 12-15 minutes.  Slice and serve immediately.

Dough and Pizza Source:  Annie’s Eats

California Cheese Torte

Yummy!  I love this cheese Torte!  I’ve been making this for years over the holidays.  It’s pretty, it’s festive, and mostly importantly it’s incredibly good – what more could you want?

Ingredients

    • 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese ( can use reduced fat)
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 8 ounces goat cheese
    • 2 teaspoons thyme
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • ½ – 1 Cup pesto sauce to cover
    • 1/2 cup roasted red peppers, drained and chopped
    • additional red peppers, strips ( garnish)

 Directions

  1. Line a one-quart dish with plastic wrap.
  2. Place the garlic and cheeses in a food processor, and process.
  3. Add oil and thyme, and process again until well combined.
  4. Spread 1/3 of the cheese mixture in the dish.
  5. Then spread the pesto over the cheese.
  6. Spread another 1/3 of the cheese mixture over the pesto.
  7. Next, layer with the chopped red peppers.
  8. Finish with the final layer of cheese.
  9. Cover and chill at least 2 hrs.
  10. When ready to serve, unmold onto serving plate and garnish with additional red pepper strips, and fresh herbs (thyme or basil) if desired.
  11. Serve with crackers or raw veggies.

Girl Friend Lunch

 

 

In the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures. For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed.

       Khalil Gibran

 

 Mixed greens salad with orange Vinaigrette

 My homemade ravioli stuffed with sausage and ricotta with fresh pesto sauce

 

My Lemon Meringue Pie
 
Our best friend, she is the one who: 
  • Is there for you whenever you need her
  • Would do anything for you
  • Laughs with you
  • Uplifts you
  • Tells it like it is
  • Consoles you
  • Compliments you and encourages you
  • Becomes your “Shopping Sister”
  • Shares common interests with you
  • Listens when you need to talk
  • Understands you
  • Gets it
  • Will be honest with you
  • Lets you be yourself and doesn’t judge
  • You have fun with
 
Girl Friend Lunch – what would we do without our best  girl friend!