Monday, October 25, 2010

Beet Greens and Pumpkin Seed Pesto

Now that fall is in full swing, ovens can turn on, vegetables can roast and we can all feel the warm comfort of starchy root vegetables. Beets are my daughter's favorite. And while I am fine cooking the beet green tops, I get tired of the same old thing. Today while staring at the beet greens I hoped for inspiration. I could not bring myself to compost them, but did not have any desire to eat sauteed greens either. So pesto it was. And since so many of us are carving pumpkins lately, you may have some freshly roasted pumpkin seeds to add to this vegan pesto. I did not add garlic because I find raw garlic a bit overwhelming. I did not add any cheese because I had none in the fridge! I put it on a cracker and handed it over to M to taste who was deeply involved in creating a polly pocket world on the dining room floor. It is a bit weird that my number one taste tester is a six year old, but hey, it works.
She thinks the pesto was "yummy" and the second time she said she likes it because it has a lot of "flavor".
So along with our roasted vegetables for dinner (cauliflower, onions, carrots and beets coated in powdered coriander, lemon juice and salt) we are having been green and pumpkin seed pesto on sourdough for dinner. Feels like fall......and I am specially dedicating this post to all my friends who have been a more than amazing presence in my life these days. I absolutely love you all. Thank you. xo

Beet Greens and Pumpkin Seed Pesto
makes about 1 cup

1 cup blanched beet greens
1/4 heaping cup pumpkin seeds
zest of 1 lemon
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
3 sprigs fresh thyme, stems removed
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 cup olive oil

Blanch beet greens in boiling water for 5 seconds. Remove and run under cold water. Squeeze out water with your hand and add to food processor. I did not remove the stems, just add all of it.
Add other ingredients and blend until combined (about 10 seconds)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Carrot Fries

If you like french fries, raise your hand. My daughter might raise both hands.  I almost never make french fries at home. Too much effort!  I have on occasion made baked sweet potato fries. I find that sometimes sweet potato fries can be too rich, sweet and heavy. Yesterday I thought of making carrot fries. I wondered how they would be tender enough to be a "fry" yet tasty enough to be embraced by a six year old. Seriously, I thought it would be a failed experiment like my momofuku compost cookie redux a couple days back. These carrot fries rocked. Well, if you like nutritional yeast they rock. We are nutritional yeast lovers. Yes, it is a great source of B vitamins, but truly I like it for the taste. I imagined that yeast and baked carrots would combine perfectly, and they did.
The carrot fries were tender, with the perfect amount of salt.  A lighter, milder version of  sweet potato fries. M asked for seconds last night at dinner.  Here is the disclaimer though; they need to be eaten right away. They go soggy as leftovers. You could add fresh herbs to the yeast mixture and have flavored carrot fries. I though chopped rosemary... I have made these twice now. The first time I made them, I put a bit of olive oil on the cookie sheet then heated the pan in the oven before adding the fries. The second time I left the olive oil off of the baking sheet. I thought they both turned out well. I felt like the extra olive oil made the carrots just a little too heavy perhaps. Well, either way you make them, it was a snap to put together!

Carrot Fries

6 medium sized carrots
2 tbls. extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup nutritional yeast
pinch salt

Cut carrots longways, then slice each half into long pieces about 1 inch thick
Put carrots into salted boiling water for 5 minutes. Remove from water and pat dry with towel. In a large bowl, toss carrots with 2 tbls. of olive oil. Then sprinkle yeast on top and use your fingers to gently toss the carrots in the yeast. Try to get them all evenly coated.
Heat cookie sheet in oven (add a thin coating of olive oil to pan if you would like)  and spread the carrots evenly on the hot cookie sheet so that they are not touching each other. Bake for 10 min. at 425 degrees. Take out of oven and turn them over and cook another 10 minutes. Serve right away!


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