Monday, June 21, 2010

Presto! Pesto!

Pesto is delicious. On pasta, grilled vegetables, toasted baguette...chimichurri, which my husband loves on skirt steak, is similar to pesto too. Bright green, garlicky and addictive. It's so easy to make! You don't need to adhere to traditional genovese ingredients like pine nuts, basil and Parmigiano Reggiano. Tonight I made a version with whatever I had in the kitchen: farm fresh parsley and basil, Grana, toasted walnuts leftover from Saturday's banana nut muffins, fresh garlic, a squeeze of lime and extra virgin olive oil. Whirr it up in the food processor and presto! Pesto!

Although we could have had just pesto and bread for dinner, I pulled together an easy weeknight one pan dish: frittata. Frittata is another versatile Italian dish and like pesto, once you learn the technique and proportions, you can mix and match ingredients.

Tonight's frittata was with summer squash and feta.

Saute the vegetables, 2 small squash, in a little butter and olive oil in a non-stick pan until they're softened and some pieces are lightly browned. Beat 6 eggs with a splash of milk using a fork and folding in lots of air so there is a layer of bubbles on top. The bubbles help keep the egg mixture fluffy when cooked.

Pour the eggs on top of the veggies and let it cook, covered for a few minutes over medium heat. You want to create a firmly cooked bottom of your frittata. As the egg cooks from the outside in, sprinkle with feta cheese and cover again for another 6 or 7 minutes. 

When the outside starts to brown and the very inside is almost cooked through set the pan under a hot broiler to finish cooking. It will puff up on the sides and create a slight crust.Slice like a pizza and enjoy with crusty bread and pesto!

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