Make Something New Every Day

This blog is inspired by all those who love to cook, whether experienced or not, and who continue to experiment with new ideas & ingredients, and best of all, share their passion with others.

The first entries are recipes prepared by the students of Lionel Wilson College Preparatory Academy in Oakland, CA. Fifteen students with varying cooking experience participated in my weekly workshop (via Tutorpedia), and successfully prepared various meals, snacks, and baked goods as part of an after-school program.

Along with the recipes from that class, I will continue to add new seasonal items, spanning every genre of the culinary world, as well as a helpful list of links to recipes, instructional videos, and places to shop and volunteer in your area.

Feel free to ask me questions and share your recipes and ideas as well. I look forward to cooking with you.

August 21, 2015

Pesto Dedicated to Someone I Love...

I have the best friends. Today one of them came over to visit me in my new place, and as she was leaving, she shared with me how happy she was that I finally found my home. I could see that she had been with me through my long wait (and near misstep into taking the wrong apartment). She is a true friend.

These are the people I live for and love most to cook for and with. Pardon my ending a sentence with a preposition, but it's true.

So here it is. Pesto. 

  • Basil (about 4 ounces, or one large bunch)
  • Olive Oil (up to 1/2C)
  • Garlic (2 cloves)
  • Lemon Juice (about 1T to taste)
  • S&P
  • Parmigiano reggiano (about 1/4C)
  • Toasted Pine Nuts (about 1/4C) 

If making a large batch, use a Cuisinart or blender. A mini-prep works great for smaller batches. 
Pick leaves off stems. Wash & dry leaves if they're noticably dirty. You don't want grit it your pesto.
Toast pine nuts in a dry pan on the stove. Don't walk away. They go from 0-60 in no time. 
Stuff the leaves into the blender/food processor. Add the garlic, pine nuts, parm, about 1/2 the oil, and about 1/2 the lemon juice. Sprinkle with a little kosher salt and pepper. 
Blend until chopped up. Stop and scrape down the sides, and blend again until pesto-like. 
Add more oil to make the right consistency. You can also add a tiny bit of water. 
Adjust the lemon juice salt & pepper to taste.
Serve immediately. Store in the fridge in an airtight glass container for up to one week, or freeze in ice cube trays for easy use later. 

Recommended uses:
Roasted Potatoes with Pesto (great hot or cold)
Grilled Vegetables and Fish
Homemade Gnocchi with Pesto & Goat Cheese 

A mini-prep is ideal for small batches of pesto and other quick sauces and salsas.

The mini-prep blade is designed to rotate clockwise on one speed, and counterclockwise on the other, helping to incorporate ingredients.

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