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Vegetable centric cooking

Tag: pesto

Turnip pesto

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This is a simple pasta centering on a single ingredient – the turnip, a member of the brassica family.  Many brassicas are trendy.  Over the past few years, I’ve noticed lots of kale, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts side dishes at restaurants in Brooklyn and Portland.   No wonder.   These vegetables take wonderfully to many forms of cooking, whether shredded raw in a salad, slow roasted and caramelized or baked until crisp.  Battersby in Brooklyn won tons of press for its crispy kale in fish sauce last year, and recently I have seen variations on a whole roast cauliflower or cauliflower steak.   But turnips are an untrendy brassica, a little more pungent and mustardy than kale or cauliflower.  Not fair. Turnips roast perfectly brown, with a nice juiciness and just a hint of their raw bite.   And they make a wonderful pesto — blend with a little olive oil and you will have a plenty rich dish without going overboard on the nuts or cheese.

Serves 2

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White pizza, grilled two ways

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80 degrees a few times this week! The weather reminds me it has actually been spring for three weeks, near-freezing temperature for my 10-K last Saturday be damned. That means garden parties in our courtyard.  Two summers ago, we invited a bunch of friends over for Darcy’s birthday and cooked pizzas outside, with an assembly line of toppings next to a little tailgate grill.   Thank you to our friend Zeina for posting these photos that I have been meaning to write up.  You can see pizza symmetry is not my strong suit.  Aesthetics aside, the pizza came out great, with a chewy, charred crust and a deep smoky flavor.  Here are the recipes — cannot wait to get back at the grill within a few weeks.

Makes two 12 inch pizzas with a very thin crust — serves 4 people as a meal, at least 8 as an appetizer

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Skinny pasta w/ fresh and dried mushrooms

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Adding dried mushrooms, mushroom stock and roasted garlic makes this dish intense.  You get the distinct textures of fresh and dried mushrooms, around a very pure flavor brightened by parsley.   Portobellos shrink a ton while roasting — four is a good number for two people.

Serves 2

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Carrot top pesto w/ roasted garlic

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Carrot top pesto is in these days — even the New York Times is on top of it. Every time I buy carrots at the farmer’s market, I mean to bite the bullet and take that enormous bunch of greens home.  Yesterday was the big day.   Although I love cannellini, they are here mostly to thicken sauce and add some protein — the flavor is all about pesto.   And nice knobby carrots.

Serves 2

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Parsley pesto

This is a dish for I have to eat now!  Toss parsley, walnuts, garlic and parmesan in a mini chopper and boom — pesto.   You thin with pasta water, so it’s not the kind of thick, oily pesto that drips from bruschetta.  But it is a quick and tasty weekday dinner — very green, very garlicky, really good.

Serves 2

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