Friday, February 10, 2012

Winter Pesto (or, "I finally put too much garlic in something.")

This has been a hard week for me running-wise. I knew I'd be busy & might not have time to get all my runs in, but that turns out not to be the real issue.

I didn't run on Monday because I wanted to be fresh for my 3rd brown belt test (smashing success, btw). Tuesday was supposed to be my normal track workout; I was really busy that day, but mostly I just felt completely exhausted and really sore (which I can only assume was from the testing). Wednesday I forced myself out the door, still sore, for an "easy" eight miles that completely wore me out, then went to karate (perhaps not the wisest of plans). Thursday I was back to feeling sore & exhausted again. I decided against running again, which led to the inevitable no-running guilt. Reminding myself that there is a difference between tired/lazy and actual pain only made me feel a little better.

Needless to say, mileage for this week is rather in the toilet.

But now it's Friday. I'm feeling better & ready to go run this afternoon, but before I could face it, I needed a little comfort food.

One of my favorite comfort foods is traditional basil pesto. I still remember how excited I was when I figured out I could make it at home. I think I made it every weekend for months. This past summer we started growing basil in our backyard, which has made the process that much easier. The only trouble with making your own pesto, though, is its summer growing seas. Yes, we can still get it in winter, but I try to buy & eat seasonal & local whenever I can, so this time of year it takes a little tweaking.

Friends, I give you a lovely winter pesto.

1) Preheat oven to 350 F. Spread a handful of almonds on a baking sheet & bake for 10-12 minutes.


2) Rinse & chop 1.5 cups each of dinosaur kale & arugula & combine in a food processor.




3) Grate 1.5 cups of a sharp pecorino & add to the greens. I've used other winter pesto recipes that call for chevre, but in my opinion most goal cheese is a bit too mild. I like the tangier flavor of pecorino.

We get bulk EVOO at costco for more mundane uses, but this is our favorite "fancy" kind. Our local Italian market recommended it as the best "nice" bottle they have for the price
4) Add the juice of half a lemon, a quarter cup of almonds, & ~3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. (Adjust to taste, of course; I probably like it a little on the dryer side.)

5) Peel & add a few garlic cloves to the mix in the food processor. This would be the part where I finally added too much garlic to something. My general practice is to at least double the amount of garlic in any recipe as a starting point. This time I peeled a head & just thought to myself, "Oh, eight or ten cloves seems about right."

Which turned out to be too much, even for me. So I'd recommend starting with 4-5, even if you're a big garlic fan & then going from there.

Anyway --

6) Pulse the ingredients together in the food processor until it looks like pesto.


Look,it's pesto!

7) Top with more pecorino & enjoy! :)


You can really use any kind of leafy greens you want. (I've also used chard & different types of kale which has been good too.) Cilantro can be interesting as well.

Alright -- time to get out the door.

No comments:

Post a Comment