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Pesto "Recipe"

Pesto - it makes a plain dish exciting and a great dish even better!

You can use pesto for more than just pasta.  Pesto will ramp up your egg dishes, enhance sauces and soups, spark up grilled or roasted vegetables, and add a delicious finishing touch to chicken and fish recipes.

The Basics:

herbs and/or greens

olive oil

salt

lemon

garlic

That's it!

Many pesto recipes call for nuts and cheese, I leave it out of the pesto and add it to the dish if needed.  You really don't need a recipe!

Using a food processor makes pesto easy.  Simply fill the processor with your choice of herb/greens...the combinations are endless (see below for a few suggestions)!  Add pealed garlic cloves to greens - pulse a little.  Then drizzle in olive oil until the pesto takes on just a slightly drier consistency than you want, then squeeze lemon juice into the processor to get the right texture, sprinkle in some salt to taste - and presto - pesto!

Put pesto into a glass mason jar, cover pesto with a thin slice of lemon.  Keep refrigerated. 

Try these combinations:

  • carrot tops and parsley  for stew and roasted vegetables)

  • dill and parsley (awesome on vegetables and fish)

  • parsley and basil (nice combination for adding to mayo for spreads)

  • just basil (it's a classic)

  • basil and mint (think tabouli)

  • parsley, oregano, and lemon verbena (great on fish)

  • just carrot tops (nice addition to soups and stocks)

Recipes

HONEYNUT SQUASH RECIPE IDEAS

Honeynut squash can be used in the same way as butternut squash.  I grow honey nut instead of butternut because the squash's flesh is deeper in color (great when making pies) and so much sweeter than butternut. When roasted this squash is excellent on its own, simply add some butter and maple syrup, or drizzle with sage and brown butter...or stuff it!

You can also take the roasted squash flesh and puree it and use it as a healthy and delicious alternative to Alfredo sauce.  I also substitute honeynut for any soup recipe that calls for butternut.

Here are some of my favorite ways to prepare this vegetable. 

Honeynut Squash Recipes

 

Roasted Skin On - Halves

  • preheat the oven to 400 F

  • cut squash lengthwise in half

  • scoop out seeds and stringy flesh with a spoon

  • rub olive oil over flesh and season with salt and pepper (optional)

  • line a baking sheet with parchment paper

  • place squash, cut side down, on the parchment

  • bake for 20 - 25 minutes or until a fork pierces the skin easily (cooking time varies with the size of the squash)

Options

  • eat the flesh directly from the skin

  • add a little butter and drizzle with maple syrup

  • puree the flesh and freeze for later (soups, sauces, or as a side mash)

 

Roasted Cubed

  • preheat the oven to 400 F

  • peel squash (peeling is optional as you can eat the skin just like with delicata squash, I prefer peeled) and cut in half lengthwise

  • scoop out seeds with a spoon

  • cut into cubes

  • drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper

  • line a baking dish with parchment paper

  • put cubes on parchment and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the squash starts to caramelize - stir and turn half way through baking

  • serve as is, or top with fresh thyme or chopped sage leaves

 

You can buy this versatile vegetable in the fall.  Look for them at Farmers’ Markets.  I’ve also seen them at Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods.      I really hope you try to grow these in your garden.  The plants are beautiful!  Honeynut needs room to grow, but it will grow up a trellis if encouraged. The squash holds up for months after harvest. 

You’ll have delicious squash all winter!

PS

A small basket of homegrown honeynut squash makes a great hostess gift for Thanksgiving and/or Christmas.

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