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



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.


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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