Easy elegance

My roommate and I cooked a simple dinner for dear friends. I made a parsley and almond pesto which took all of 5 minutes. Pesto is fun because you can combine any herb and nut for different flavors; it also keeps well covered with oil in the fridge or frozen. Please note that although I cook on a budget cheese is not something I skimp on. There is no substitute for real parmesan. Sorry.

I also had a jar of fig and bacon puree (made from leftovers) that I spooned into store-bought phyllo shells with a bit of ricotta. It looked fancy for a quick dinner made after work.

Parsley & almond pesto:

1 cup parsley

1/4 almonds

juice of 1/2 a lemon

hunk of good quality parmesan

olive oil

black pepper

canola oil

red pepper flakes

Preparation: blend in food processor. If you don’t have a food processor, use grated cheese and chop herbs and nuts finely. Add oil as needed. Use the canola if straight olive oil is too flavorful for your taste. I use about 3 parts olive oil to 1 part neutral oil. Taste and adjust. Serve over pasta.

Fig and bacon puree:

3 figs

3 slices bacon

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

a few tbsp olive oil

rosemary

pepper

Preparation: roughly chop figs and bacon and saute in pot. Add balsamic vinegar, spices, and reduce mixture over low flame. Add oil. Puree. If you don’t have a machine to puree for you then chop the pieces finely from the start. Store in fridge and use creatively or give as gift.

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One thought on “Easy elegance

  1. Vanessa, you are easily one of the more elegant people (and cooks) I know. I love the stone soup theory of cooking (throw in whatever you’ve got) and of living. Good luck with your blog!

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