Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Shakin' things up (in the kitchen)

*chef Meri image not to scale
I love to cook. Even though it often leads to 9pm dinners and the occasional "I'm doing too many things at once" burned broccoli,  I love coming home from work and unwinding by whipping up something delicious for Dr. H and I to eat. Though we have our standard favorites (THIS salad, pasta bolognese, chicken feta burgers from HERE with spinach and orzo...) I'm always looking for ways to vary the menu or use seasonal items. Enter squash and basil. Right now I have something just short of a basil forest growing on my terrace and Saturday's trip to the Union Square farmer's market (LOVE that place) presented squash of all varieties. I decided it was time to go adventuring in spaghetti squash creations and homemade pesto. 

Last night I made the above spaghetti squash deliciousness and it earned 4 thumbs up in my household. Even Dr. H, somewhat wary of the sweetness of squash, loved it. I followed the recipe to a tee (used the microwave for cooking the squash (which saved a bunch of time), but the oven for end of recipe cheese melting) and we each eat ate "1 boat" (since you cut the squash in half, 1 squash yields 2 boats). In the end we were completely stuffed and very pleasantly surprised. 100% repeating this one! 
Full recipe HERE (via the always brilliant Skinnytaste.com); Pinterest HERE

For my next adventure in spaghetti squashing I plan to try out this Mexican style dish, another basic "stuff that thing with awesomeness" recipe which can be made as written here (vegetarian style), or go right ahead and add some ground taco seasoned beef or turkey! Will let you know how it turns out :)
Full recipe HERE (via Caty's corner); Pinterest HERE

Lastly, thanks to a successful first attempt at urban terrace gardening, I've got a thriving basil plant desperate for a good dish. Everyone always says that making your own pesto is just "the easiest thing!" so I'm planning to go for it on Wednesday night. The thing is, every recipe seems to have a slight variation.

Seems easy enough!
2 cups fresh basil leaves (packed) 
- 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese 
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts, lightly toasted 
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic (or to taste) 
- 1/4 teaspoon salt (or to taste)

- 2 cups fresh basil leaves
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
- juice from half a lemon
- salt & pepper

I know a lot of this is personal preference, but if any of you out there have the the mac daddy of all pesto recipes, I'd love to hear it because when I bust out my (adorable/rarely used) mini food processor for our first homemade pesto party, it's gotta be a winner.

1 comment:

  1. Have you seen a pesto recipe that calls for walnuts instead of pine nuts? I had some the other day and I really enjoyed it!