Posted in Fall, Spring, Summer, Winter, tagged Dinner, Herbs, Nuts, Pasta, Pesto, Vegetarian on August 11, 2010|
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I’ve been buying up elephant garlic from Happy Boy Farm at the Berkeley Farmers’ Market. Elephant garlic is about the size of a normal head of garlic, except it’s just one giant clove. Apparently, it’s not really garlic, but closer to a leek or onion. It tastes like garlic, except a little more mild. And it’s delicious roasted.
To roast the garlic, I preheated the oven to 400. Then, I wrapped each head individually in tin foil with a drizzle of garlic and a small sprig of rosemary. I put the cloves in a baking dish (they might leak and you don’t want garlic oil burning at the bottom of your oven) and baked them for about 45 minutes. Remove from the oven, unwrap, let them cool, then remove the skin.
At this point, you can mash them up and do whatever you want with them, like spread on crostini. To make the pesto, I tossed three heads of the roasted elephant garlic in the food processor with the roasted rosemary needles, a half a cup of walnuts, and about two ounces of parmesan cheese. I pulsed it a few times until it started to come together, then slowly added some olive oil, about 1/3 of a cup or so, lots of freshly cracked pepper, and a large pinch of salt.
To serve, I tossed it over some linguine with a sprinkling of toasted walnuts. It should make enough to cover about two pounds of pasta. I wound up freezing half the pesto to use for another meal.
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If this was where you bought tomatoes, wouldn’t you be addicted?
I rounded up another bag full of dry farmed Early Girls and made tomato confit again. This time, I piled them on a pizza spread with marjoram-olive pesto. So delicious.
Marjoram Olive Pesto
Adapted from Deborah Madison
2 tablespoons aged red wine vinegar
1 garlic love
3 tablespoons pitted olives
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup marjoram leaves
1 tablespoon drained capers
1/2 cup pine nuts
1 cup coarsely chopped parsley
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Add garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, a few grinds of pepper, marjoram, capers, pine nuts, parsley, cheese, and olives to a food processor. Pulse to combine. Add the vinegar and olive oil and pulse until the pesto is well mixed. Add more salt if needed. Toss over pasta or pizza. The original recipe, found here, recommends serving it over beets.
To make the pizza, I rolled out some pizza dough, spread it with a couple tablespoons of the pesto, topped with 1.5 pounds of roasted tomatoes, 3 ounces of chevre, and some salt and pepper. Into the oven at 425 for 15 minutes and you have a really spectacular pizza. The pesto is briny from the olives and capers and floral from the marjoram. With the sweet tomatoes and tangy goat cheese, you will not be able to stop eating it.
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I recently came across sorrel at the farmers market. I had heard of it before, but had never seen it. So when I saw a pile of it there, I asked the vendor if I could try a leaf.
It’s weird. In a good way. It tastes like a lemon. Not at all what you’d expect from a little green leaf.
I bought a bunch and made pesto with it. So delicious. It’s much tangier than regular basil pesto. I will definitely buy this stuff again.
All measures are approximate. I didn’t really measure anything, just went with what looked good. Or, if you don’t trust me, just follow your favorite pesto recipe, and substitute sorrel for basil.
1 bunch sorrel, stems removed (approximately 2-3 cups)
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup parmesan cheese
1/3 cup pine nuts
salt and pepper to taste
Put the sorrel, cheese, pine nuts, and salt and pepper in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Slowly add the olive oil and mix until combined. Add additional salt if necessary.
I served it on tortellini, sprinkled with a handful of extra pine nuts. It was also great on bread and sandwiches. It’ll keep in the fridge for at least a week.
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