Tag: pesto

What I Cooked Last Week (7/22)

Decided that these posts make more sense as a retrospective – I can share what I cooked, what did and did not work, and let you know if I made any adjustments. It’s also, unsurprisingly, a lot easier to add pictures this way!

Last week was a very short one cooking-wise – my birthday was Wednesday and I let someone else (my mom) cook for me, although I did make myself a second birthday cake and have no regrets. Then, on Thursday, Kyle and I headed up to Vancouver, B.C. for the weekend and proceeded to eat and drink our way through the city. Everything was SO GOOD. Question for you all: would you be interested in city food guides/recs for places I’ve been?

Anyway, without further ado, here’s the roundup for last week!

Monday

I can’t and won’t stop cooking with primarily zucchini and summer squash these days, so Monday I tried out Smitten Kitchen’s Zucchini Fritters. She describes them as “zucchini latkes” and it’s spot-on. If you use a food processor to grate the zucchini (I use a slightly older version of this one from Cuisinart) it’s amazingly quick and easy, neither of which are words I typically associate with traditional latkes. I punched up the sour cream sauce she recommends serving atop the fritters with a bit of extra garlic, and am considering making a bit of a sour cream aioli in future renditions.

fritters

I also whipped up a batch of basil almond pesto and stuck it in the freezer, recipe in the works!

basil almond pesto.jpg

Tuesday

Had a gluten-free friend over for dinner on Tuesday, so I made my fave Weeknight Rice Noodles with Meatballs and subbed Tamari for the normal soy sauce. My friend had gone blueberry picking earlier in the day and brought a bunch of berries and whipped cream for dessert, which was *chef’s kiss*.

rice noodles

Wednesday

My 26th birthday! Like I said, I let my mom handle the dinner cooking, but I couldn’t resist making myself Smitten Kitchen’s Tres Leches Cake. I, of course, added the optional rum to the milks mixture. I’d been planning on making this for Kyle’s birthday back in April, but it’s a two-day process, and we got busy, and… never happened. So glad I finally got around to it, because it’s delicious. I served it with sliced strawberries.

tres leches.jpg

I have a full week of cooking coming up (desperately needed after previously mentioned food tour of Vancouver), so look for a lot of zucchini dishes and a couple new recipes in next week’s post!

Pesto Pasta Salad

This pasta salad is an excellent summer dish – it’s versatile and a great way to use up fresh summer produce (basil! tomatoes!). Bring it to a potluck, serve it as a side dish, or enjoy it as the main course. Missing the protein? Toss some cubed salami or torn prosciutto into the mix. The best part is it takes nearly no time to throw together when served hot, and no additional effort, just a rest in the fridge, if served cold.

Pesto Pasta Salad

Serves 4 as an entrée, 8 as a side dish
Hands-On Time: 10 min
Total Time (if chilled): 40 min


Ingredients

1 lb pasta (I used penne, but any bite-sized pasta would work well)
2/3 cup pesto (I used this garlic scape pesto)
1 cup reserved pasta water
1 – 2 large tomatoes, cubed, or 8oz cherry tomatoes, halved
8oz fresh mozzarella, cubed, or 8oz mozzarella pearls
Basil, sliced in chiffonade
Salt for pasta water


Cook pasta according to package directions in heavily salted water. Drain, reserving a cup of water from the cooked pasta.

Combine pesto with up to a cup of reserved pasta water (you may not need to use all of it – it should be saucy but not watery). Add pasta and toss to combine.

Optional: If you’re serving chilled, or making ahead, pop it in the fridge now for 30 min – 2 hours. More than that will make the pasta mushy.

Add cubed mozzarella, tomatoes, and about 3/4 of the basil and toss. Top with remaining basil and serve.


tomato_basil