Yes, I can hear the thoughts and no, I can’t blame you for thinking them. But you see, there’s cause to celebrate. Have you figured it out from the photo yet?
That’s right, it’s my 100th post!
Thank you all for being with me on this wonderful blogging journey so far, and for reading and commenting. Your dialog with me via comments was, and is, one of the things I love the best about blogging and I hope you’ll be with me for the next 100 posts, to infinity and beyond, and continue to chat with me, share your experiences, thoughts and feedback.
And so, without further ado and to celebrate this auspicious occasion, I present to you these three recipes. This Roasted Broccoli with Quick Basil Walnut Pesto was inspired by a recent post from Sharyn at the Kale Chronicles, and you can see her method for making pesto the old fashioned way here as opposed to my down and dirty way below. Broccoli is my favorite veggie and therefore I consider it to be celebratory fare, walnuts are my favorite nut, and who doesn’t like basil pesto, I ask you? And if that dish isn’t enough…and it isn’t…I’m also presenting two easy salad recipes featuring quinoa, that most wonderful and versatile of grains. A sweet salad in the form of my Peach, Dried Cherry and Date Quinoa Salad with Honey Cinnamon Orange Dressing (if you’ve been reading lately, you knew there’d be more with peaches, right?)—and a savory salad, my Tomato, Basil and Green Onion Quinoa Salad with Fresh Lemon Dressing.
I invite you to celebrate with me and enjoy trying one, or all three, of these easy dishes. Happy reading, happy cooking and happy eating, with love from Betsy.
See you on post 101!
Roasted Broccoli with Quick Basil Walnut Pesto
It’s been said by many that one doesn’t need a recipe for roasted broccoli or even for pesto, but here it is anyway! All I can say is that they sure are wonderful together, with the nuttiness of the roasted broccoli complimented and enhanced by the rich and nutty pesto.
2 Heads of broccoli, stems removed and florets separated
1 Tablespoon good quality olive oil plus a bit for greasing the pan
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 medium garlic cloves, peeled
2 pinches of kosher salt
12 walnut halves, plus a few for garnish
2 cups fresh basil leaves
Freshly ground black pepper
3 Tablespoons good quality olive oil
1/4 – 1/3 cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, grated
Heat the oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease a baking sheet with some olive oil. Place the broccoli florets on the pan, toss with the 1 Tablespoon of olive oil, a pinch of kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Roast the broccoli for 12- 15 minutes, stirring once halfway, until the broccoli is lightly toasted, fragrant and tender. Remove from the oven and transfer to a serving plate.
While the broccoli is roasting, make the pesto. In a small food processor, pulse the garlic, salt and walnuts together until they are coarsely ground. Add the basil leaves and several grinds of fresh black pepper, and pulse until the basil is finely chopped. While the machine is running, add the olive oil through the opening in the top of the processor and allow to process until the oil is incorporated. Add the cheese and pulse just to combine. Serve several tablespoons drizzled over the warm roasted broccoli and sprinkle a few walnuts over the top. Save the rest of the pesto in a glass jar in the fridge and it will keep for several days….but it’s very likely it will disappear before then!
Peach, Dried Cherry, Walnut and Date Quinoa Salad
with Honey Cinnamon Orange Dressing
I’ve been re-reading Mark Bittman’s book Food Matters. He suggests picking a whole grain of your choice, making a lot of it each week, storing it in the fridge, and using it to create new dishes, add to old ones, etc. I’d never cooked quinoa until I made this dish and the next one. In addition to being a wonderful side dish for any meal, it’s terrific with barbecue and this one is also great for breakfast!
4 cups cooked quinoa
3/4 cup dried pitted cherries
3 small peaches, washed, peeled (you can leave the skin on if you prefer), pitted and sliced
1/3 cup chopped and toasted walnuts
1/3 cup pitted, dried, chopped dates
Juice and zest of one medium orange
3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus a tiny bit more to taste if desired
2 teaspoons honey
A good pinch of kosher salt and a few grinds of black pepper
In a medium-sized bowl combine the quinoa, cherries, peaches, walnuts and dates until well distributed. In a small bowl whisk together the juice and zest of the orange, the olive oil, cinnamon, honey, salt and pepper until emulsified. Pour over the quinoa mixture and stir gently to coat. Allow the flavors to blend for about 30 minutes and serve.
3 cups cooked quinoa
1 1/2 cups quartered grape tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped green onion
1/4 cup chopped parsley, preferably flat leaf
1/2 cup chiffonade (thinly slivered) fresh basil leaves
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon honey
pinch of kosher salt and a few grinds of black pepper
Combine the quinoa, tomatoes, green onion, parsley and basil in a medium bowl until well mixed. In a small bowl combine the juice and zest of the lemon, olive oil, honey, salt and pepper and whisk to emulsify. Pour the dressing over the quinoa mixture and stir gently to combine. Allow the flavors to blend for about 30 minutes. Serve.