Bites of Spring

She heard me complaining.

And now...

The warm air has returned,

with the Sun in tow.

All those rain showers

did indeed bring flowers,

and green everywhere.

Like emeralds.

Thank you, Darling.

I am forever grateful.

And inspired to craft one of my favorite dishes,

bursting with bright Spring color,

Light.

It's so sexy, I just had to post two photos!

It's so sexy, I just had to post two photos!

I absolutely love pesto.

Don't you?

Mountains of fresh basil, toasty little pignoli nuts...cheese...? 

No way, baby. 

This recipe has been Vixen-ized.

To start, I've swapped the basil with arguably the most nutrient-rich green around: Kale. Oh yes. And though I love basil with all my heart, it is difficult to grow year round, and pricey to procure off season. If you are fortunate to have a very sunny window, I encourage you to grow it there throughout the seasons. If not, stock up at the end of summer, make tons of batches of pesto, and freeze them in little containers.

Or, try this.

Purrfect Pesto

  • 1 bunch dinosour (Lacinato) kale, or 1/2 bunch regular kale, washed and chopped
  • 1/2 c toasted pignoli nuts
  • 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 C nutritional yeast
  • 1/3 C Olive oil, and then some
  • Celtic salt

I like to toast the pignoli nuts in a teeny little pan, with no oil and a low flame. This allows the natural oils to release, and the nuts to brown very nicely. Just give the pan a little shake every few minutes to keep them from burning...

Place all he ingredients except the salt into your food processor or high-speed blender, and pulse until the mixture is blended and creamy. You can add a little more olive oil here as you like. I personally like it very creamy and oily (ahem.) 

Toss in a good pinch of sea salt, and voilá! Fresh, green, savory, and oh-so-tastly pesto for gluten-free pastas, vegetables or potatoes, as a spread on crackers or a sandwich, or as a soup base. And though kale is a superhero, it can be slightly bitter, so if you prefer a milder flavor, use these ratios for a basil or spinach version.

I wanted a raw dish, so I made zucchini noodles (as pictured) by first removing the skins, then making thin ribbons with a potato peeler. It's a good idea to drain the noodles in a colander while you're preparing the pesto, setting your table, etc., to release the excess water. 

Rule of thumb: 1-2 zucchinis per person, depending on how ravenous you are.

It works purrfectly as is, tossed with vegetable noodles for a completely raw dish (keep the nuts raw also, then), but also heats up like dream...just warm it gently in a little pan on a very low flame to preserve the flavors (and the enzymes.) It also freezes beautifully, so make extra!


Now come.

Have dinner with me.

Just us.

xxx Alise

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