Sunday, April 8, 2018

Fresh Spinach Pesto

Inspiration to cook, is everywhere!

As a Christmas gift for Craig, I joined us up for a winter CSA (community supported agriculture) at a local urban farm, 47th Avenue Farms, here in Portland.  It’s been amazing, and reminds us of the old CSA we belonged to, in the Seattle area.  Everything is fresh and grown locally, unlike a few we have tried. (Where they still had stickers on the fruit)

Anyhow, it’s been a challenge to get through a lot of the potatoes and carrots.  Living with a “part-time” vegetarian, as I call him, you would think potatoes wouldn’t be an issue, but my husband doesn’t care for them. We both like carrots, but really it’s hard to get through 2lbs a week!  (Might make a curried carrot soup?) 

Anyhow, last week we got 3 large bunches of spinach.  And I have been dying to try spinach pesto.  So yesterday, I cleaned, de-stemmed and dried all of the spinach, got out my new food processor, and went for it!

Here is the recipe for the pesto, and below it, is how I made the pasta dinner.


2 to 3 cups packed fresh baby spinach
½ to 1 cup mixed fresh parsley &basil
2 to 3 cloves garlic; whole or minced
¼ cup toasted pine nuts
½ to 1 cup good quality extra-virgin olive oil + more if needed
¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan
Salt & pepper, to taste

Combine the spinach, parsley, garlic, and pine nuts in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. With the processor running, slowly pour the olive oil (I used about a cup) into the bowl through the feed tube and process until the pesto is thoroughly combined. Add the parmesan and pulse again. Season with salt and pepper.

To serve:
Cook pasta according to directions.
Reserve about 1 cup of the hot pasta water.
Scoop about ½ cup of the spinach pesto over pasta, mix and add in a small amount of the hot pasta water.  The hot water will melt the pesto slightly and coat all of the pasta.
Gently toss to combine.
Top with slices of grilled chicken, if you like. 

Blue Cheese and Green Onion Scones

A few years ago, I was watching a tv show, specifically Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, when a blue cheese scone flashed across the screen.  I was like, I must have that.  Well, I have no intention on going to Minneapolis to visit Colossal Café, just to get a scone.  So I searched and searched, and like everything else, I got distracted and the years passed, until yesterday when the episode aired again (probably for the 300th time, you all know tv programming!) and I did a quick search, and low and behold, there it was.  “Ahhhhhhhhh”, is what I heard.  I also noticed, I (thought) I had everything to make this savory treat.  So early this morning, I decided to attempt to make these.

While I was inspired by the original recipe from Bess at Colossal Café, but alas, I did not have all of the ingredients.  Here is my version….and I have to say they turned out awesome!

Blue cheese green onion scones 

22 ounces all-purpose flour, sifted
1 teaspoon rosemary salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
6 ounces very cold butter, diced
4 ounces blue cheese crumbs
4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
1 bunch chopped green onion
3 eggs, beaten
1 ½ cup sour cream

Preheat the convection oven to 350°F.

Add all the dry ingredients into a large bowl and stir to combine. 

Using a pastry blender, gently blend in the diced butter into the dry ingredients. Add the blue cheese, parsley, and green onions. 

Mix together the eggs and sour cream. Make a well and add in half of the egg/sour cream mixture. Fold until just holding together, adding the remaining egg/sour cream mixture as needed. 

Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Scoop 3-ounce portions of batter onto the paper. Bake for 22-28 minutes, until firm and golden.