Wednesday, October 7, 2009

CSA 7: Brocolli and Sweet Basil

I finally had some free time to make dinner. I felt like I've been making so many breakfast meals that I was almost tempted to make a dinner meal for breakfast. Good thing that didn't happen. Anyhow, I had some leftover broccoli and new sweet basil from my CSA share. My plan was to make a pasta dish. I took some meat filled pasta purses from the freezer. I boiled some water, then added salt and oil. In went the pasta for about 10-15 minutes. While that cooked, I cut up the brocolli. You can basically use every part of it including the stems, leaves, and crowns. Most people only use the crowns and throw out the rest. I find that really wasteful. If you don't like the stems, save it for stock. If you don't make your own stock, then throw them in with store bought stock to add some homemade-like freshness. You can make cream of broccoli soup. There are a lot of options out there. Find one. With the basil, I made pesto. It's so easy yet so incredibly delicious. I do a fairly easy recipe that includes garlic, pine nuts, salt, pepper, basil, and olive oil. Put everything in a food processor and blend until finely minced. Then slowly stream in the oil until you find your own desired thickness. I like my pesto thick so I add less oil. I always make extra pesto for storing. It makes it really convenient and I don't have to look for fresh basil every time I want to make pesto. All you have to do is take a mini muffin pan or ice cube tray, grease it with olive oil, then fill it. Freeze overnight. The next day, remove the pesto cubes. If you're having trouble then place in a shallow pan of warm water to slightly melt t he bottom and sides. Keep you eyes on this because it will melt quickly. Now you have individual servings of pesto. And this freezing method keeps the pesto green. Otherwise, it turns into an unappetizing brown. Now back to the pasta. About 3 minutes before it's fully cooked, add your broccoli. Yes, you can cook your pasta and broccoli in the same pot. Easy clean up. Once bright green, drain and add to bowl with pesto already on the bottom. Mix thoroughly. You can add some grated parmesiano on top if you like. Prosciutto bread from Lioni's is much better with butter. And Lioni's fresh mozzarella. So good! A little salt on top and it's ready to be devoured! Upper Meadows Farm 12 Pollara Lane Montague, NJ 07827 (973) 293-8171

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