Gardening, Cooking and Decorating on the Prairie of Kansas

Welcome to Linderhof, our 1920's home on the prairie, where there's usually something in the oven, flowers in the garden for tabletops and herbs in the garden for cooking. Where, when company comes, the teapot is always on and there are cookies and cakes to share in the larder.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Presto -- It's Pesto -- A Cooking Class

My cooking class tonight was on pesto -- pesto is more than just basil as the class found out.    For not only did we sample "classic pesto" in an appetizer but we had two vegetable pestos and even a dessert pesto!

Basil -- The Classic Pesto -- The Recipe

For every 2 cups of basil leaves, you need 1/2 cup of olive oil, 1/3 cup of pine nuts, and 3 medium size cloves of garlic.    If you're going to use it right away and not freeze, you will also need 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese.

Combine the basil and pine nuts and pulse a few times.    Add the garlic and pulse a few times more.   Turn on the food processor and slowly pour the olive oil down the tube in a constant stream.    Scrape down sides.   If you're going to use it right away, add the Parmesan cheese.    If you're going to freeze, put it in jars or freezer containers and seal.

Once the pesto was made, it was turned into . . . pesto palmiers.

The class ate all of the palmiers before I got a picture -- thank you, Kate, for taking a picture for me!

Pesto Palmiers -- The Recipe

Take one sheet of puff pastry.    Spread one recipe of basil pesto on top, and told each side to the middle, fold again, and then fold a third time.     Brush with egg wash.    Bake at 375 for 8 minutes, turn over and bake an additional 8 minutes.      Serve hot.

Corn -- A Vegetable Pasta -- The Recipe

4 cups fresh corn kernels (from about 6 ears of corn)
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup pine nuts
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus 2 T.

In a medium saute pan on medium high heat, add 2 T. olive oil to pan.    Add the garlic and cook, stirring occasionally for about 2 minutes, until the garlic starts to brown.    Add corn, salt and pepper to taste, and stir until the corn is tender, about 4 minutes.     Remove from pan and put all but half a cup of the corn mixture into your food processor.

Add the cheese and pine nuts to the processor and turn on.    While the food processor is going, slowly add the olive oil until the pesto is smooth.    Turn off the food processor and add in the remaining kernels.   Using a spatula, mix everything together and set aside.

That pesto was then made into . . . corn pesto pasta

Summer on a plate -- corn, tomato, arugula

Corn Pesto Pasta - The Recipe

2 T. olive oil
1 package of your favorite pasta, cooked according to directions
1 bunch arugula 
1 onion, chopped
2 ripe tomatoes, chopped
salt and pepper

In a skillet, add 2 T. olive oil and then add the onion and cook until translucent, about 5 to 8 minutes.    Add the arugula and stir to combine.    Cook until arugula is slightly wilted, about 2 minutes more.

Once you pasta is cooked, drain.    Return pasta to pot and add the corn pesto, arugula and onion mixture and chopped tomatoes and stir to combine.    Sprinkle more cheese on top if you like your pasta extra cheesy.

Asparagus - A Vegetable Pesto - The Recipe

1 pound asparagus, cooked, cut into 2 inch segments
1 clove garlic (or more to taste)
1/4 c. pine nuts
1/4 c. olive oil
3/4 c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
freshly ground black pepper
juice of 1/2 lemon

Put the asparagus in a food processor and add the garlic, pine nuts, Parmesan, a pinch of salt.   Process the mixture, stopping to scrape down the sides of the container if necessary.    Gradually add oil.     Add the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper to taste.    Pulse once last time.

I used the asparagus pesto on . . . . flatbread for asparagus pesto pizza

Pizzas don't have to be tomato and pepperoni -- "green" makes for a good pizza!

Spread asparagus pesto on flatbread, add grated Fontina cheese and bake at 400 until flatbread is crisp and cheese is melted.     Garnish with additional pine nuts and serve.

We finished with a dessert pesto --white  chocolate mint.     Served with Biscoff cookies.  

It's Friday and I'm sharing my pesto dishes for Foodie Friday with Michael at Designs By Gollum.


Pondside said...

I love the idea of the pizza - thank you!

Tea Party said...

These look so refreshing, really says summer! YUM!

From the Kitchen said...

I'm completely intrigued by the corn pesto. Can't wait to try it!


Bernideen said...

These look wonderful and pesto is so versatile.

podso said...

Great ideas here ---corn pesto? Thanks for "broadening my horizons!"

Yvonne @ StoneGable said...

Martha, I would have loved to be at that cooking class with you!
Basil pesto is one of my favorite flavors!!! I call it Green Gold! Thanks for sharing the other pestos. I am very intrigued by the corn pesto! With lots of corn in my frig, I think I'll try it!
I want to invite you to my weekly linky party, ON THE MENU MONDAY. It would be wonderful if you could share what you learned there! Linky goes live Sunday evening at 8:00.

Michelle said...

Every time I water my basil I think I ought to make some pesto...I think I may have to try that corn pesto pasta this weekend! Thanks for sharing your recipes.
xo, Michelle

On Crooked Creek said...

All these recipes look so inviting...I'll put them in my file for another year. Our basil has succommed to the heat wave here on our side of the Prairie! It has truly been intense! Thanks for sharing...stay cool, dear friend!!!