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I'm a sucker for pesto, and I love strawberry-basil sorbet. So why not strawberry-basil pesto?
I was slightly skeptical to make this (but figured if I screwed it up, I could just add more and more basil and cheese to mask the strawberry flavor), but I'm so glad I did. ).
My roommate and I used this as a spread on toasted prosciutto-and-tomato sandwiches and a dipping sauce for sweet potato fries. But tightly seal the leftovers in the fridge, and you can still enjoy it the next night as I did with whole-wheat pasta with fresh tomatoes, onion, and pancetta.
Click here to see 9 Ways to Enjoy Summer Strawberries.
- 1 2/3 cup fresh basil leaves
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmigano-Reggiano cheese
- 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 8 large ripe strawberries
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Combine the basil leaves, garlic, pine nuts, cheese, and olive oil in a blender (I used my trusty Magic Bullet) and process it until the mixture forms a thick paste. Separately, blend the strawberries (they'll form a liquidy mixture). Combine the 2, season with salt and pepper, and mix until smooth, adjusting the seasoning to desired taste. (The addition of the strawberries might make the pesto a bit liquidy, so continue to mix in basil and parmesan until you reach your desired consistency.)
Chill before serving.
Pesto Cream Cheese Strawberry Bruschetta
If you're looking for a snack, an appetizer for those summer parties or just a fun relaxing no fuss dinner at home these bruschetta bites will totally be your jam. Full of flavor using only fresh ingredients!
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Pesto Crusted Mahi-Mahi with Blistered Tomatoes and Lemon Butter Sauce
Today is an especially happy Monday, actually, because today The Sustainable Seafood Blog Project (SSBP) is inducting its 3rd Blog Partner Class! (Cue applause and confetti and me dancing around in my kitchen because woooooo).
I am so excited to welcome four new food bloggers to the SSBP Partner Roster: Vanessa over at Becoming Ness, Kaylin at Enticing Healthy Eating, Jessica of Stuck on Sweet, and Julie from In A Half Shell. They are all fabulous bloggers (and wonderful people!), so make sure you take a few minutes to stop by their blogs and tell them hello!
To celebrate our new partner class (as well as our All-New 2015 Conference!) I made you some seriously delicious (and ridiculously easy!) pesto crusted mahi-mahi. And because we’re internet BFFs, I threw in some blistered tomatoes and a super simple lemon butter sauce to top it all off. It takes all of 30 minutes to throw together, and calls for ingredients you probably already have floating around your fridge and pantry.
I’m a big fan of mahi-mahi, because it’s a nice, hearty fish that holds up well in the freezer. It’s also fairly easy to find mahi-mahi that comes from well-managed, healthy fisheries! Seafood Watch classifies U.S. Atlantic troll or pole caught as a “best choice” option, and has three other “good alternative”-ranked mahi-mahi sources: U.S. longline-caught, Hawaii troll- or pole-caught, and Ecuadorian longline-caught.
Side note: “troll” sounds like a scary word, but when fishermen “troll,” it really just means they are casting several individual fishing lines into the water at the same time (read more here and here). Trolling has a very small incidence of bycatch – accidentally catching a species you aren’t fishing for, like a turtle or shark – and if bycatch does occur, it’s much easier to free an accidentally caught species and return it to the ocean than with other fishing methods.
A good fishmonger (when in doubt, visit the fish counter at Whole Foods or Wegman’s) will be able to tell you where a fish came from and how it was caught. It can be a little intimidating to ask a bunch of questions while you’re at the fish counter, but a friendly, knowledgeable fishmonger makes the process much easier and more comfortable – they’re happy to talk to you about their products! Plus, it’s worth braving a bit of fish-counter nervousness to be sure that you’re buying sustainably-caught seafood!
Be sure to check out the new SSBP Blog Partners posting today, and take a look at our Resources Section to learn more about sustainable seafood!
The Sustainable Seafood Blog Project
Third Blog Partner Class:
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Creamy Pesto Gnocchi
- Author: Jessie
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Total Time: 20 minutes
- Yield: Serves 4 1 x
- Category: Dinner
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Vegetarian
This easy, creamy pesto gnocchi is ready in just 20 minutes with store-bought gnocchi, pesto, and heavy cream!
FOR THE PESTO GNOCCHI:
- 1 pound gnocchi ( 16 ounces )
- 1/3 cup pesto (we like basil or arugula pesto!)
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- salt and pepper to taste
OPTIONAL (BUT DELICIOUS!) TOPPINGS:
- Cook gnocchi according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
- Add pesto and cream to a large skillet over medium heat. Whisk to combine and cook, whisking occasionally, for 3-5 minutes until sauce has thickened slightly and is just beginning to simmer.
- Add cooked gnocchi to sauce and stir to combine. Taste and add salt and pepper if necessary.
- Garnish gnocchi with shaved parmesan and a sprinkle of lemon zest. Serve and enjoy!
What kind of gnocchi should I use? Any gnocchi is fine! We typically use store-bought here (you can usually find some shelf-stable gnocchi in the pasta aisle, or some refrigerated fresh gnocchi near the cheese or deli section with other fresh pastas) but use homemade gnocchi if you have it (fresh or from the freezer!)
Additions and Substitutions. Use half and half or Magic Cauliflower Cream instead of heavy cream here if you like. We don’t recommend using plain milk as it can sometimes result in a thinner or broken sauce. Add your favorite veggies or protein to make this a bit heartier. No gnocchi? Use any kind of pasta you like! We topped the gnocchi in these photos with shaved parmesan and some lemon zest. Be sure to read the post above for a full list of our favorite riffs and substitutions!
If your sauce is too thick to coat the gnocchi evenly, add a splash of water, cream, or chicken/vegetable stock to thin it out a bit. If your sauce is too thin, let it simmer an additional minute or two, stirring frequently, until it begins to thicken.
Taste and season before you serve. Because there are so few ingredients here, and because pesto can vary so much from recipe to recipe or brand to brand, it’s extra important to taste! Sneak a bite of your gnocchi once it’s tossed with the sauce and add salt if the flavors don’t quite “pop” yet.
Strict vegetarians should look for parmesan cheese made without rennet. To make this recipe vegan and dairy-free, buy (or make) vegan gnocchi and vegan pesto, and swap the heavy cream for Magic Cauliflower Cream.
Strawberry Caprese with Pistachio Pesto. What is happening? Thanksgiving was over half a year ago. I almost have a 6 month old. I don’t know my head from my toes or how we got here. I feel like I took a nap in mid-December and just woke up. Whaaaaaaat. If it was necessary that I wake up from hibernation in 85+ degree weather, I guess I’m cool with June. It’s contents consist of some super exciting events like my mom’s birthday, my cousin’s birthday, my brother’s wedding (. ) and, um, fresh garden tomatoes and basil. Because that last one sounds really significant after the listed events. Oh, but guess what. OMG. I planted herbs. You know this because I only talked about it for seven weeks before I did it (“blah-I’m-so-excited-to-plant-herbs-blah-blah!”) and then I did it and haven’t stopped talking about it since. No really, I snapchat watering my plants every single morning because I adore them annnnnd I’ve usually been wide awake for at least an hour. A few years ago Bev told me how to grow some herbs and I blew it. I’ve been afraid ever since but now? They are growing like WEEDS! I mean. You know what I mean. They are seriously growing. It’s only been two weeks and boom, I have food. Anyhoo, I got on that herb tangent because of the basil, because of the things I love about June, because I seriously just can’t believe it’s June. Oh hi, I’m boring and can only talk about time going so fast. But it is. I thought that only happened to adults? I will never forget one December while my mom and I were making cookies – we lived in our “old” house, aka the house we lived in before the one I spent the majority of time in growing up. Christmas was right around the corner but I said “mom, I feel like Christmas was just last week!” I was probably only seven years old, which would explain why she looked at me wide eyed and said “only grown ups are supposed to feel that way!” Wait. Am I a grown up now? I am looking around for other grown ups and it appears that right here, right now, I am the grown up. Ugh. (Which truly means nothing since I’m watching full house while my infant snoozes next to me. Which, I supposed, would be a lot more scary if it actually still was 1992.) So since I’m a grown up and since I get excited about things like basil and tomatoes in the summer instead of fireworks and pool parties and beer pong, I made a deeeelish (so not a grown up word) salad that I can’t get enough of. No really. Life right now is all about super fast things that don’t taste like super fast things. If you get my gist. Tomatoes, strawberries, fresh mozzarella rounds – it kind of seems boring, right? Perhaps “boring” isn’t the right word, but it just seems too… easy? Yes. Too easy. It really is too easy! YEP. But I swear. One you make some pistachio pesto and smother is on this salad – or rather – this bowl of tomatoes and strawberries and cheese, it transforms the entire thing. It’s embarrassingly cliché and not the least bit unpredictable to tell you that we eat some form of caprese salad a few times week for the entire summer. It’s one of the only simple salads that I can call a meal. It’s one of the simple salads with such few ingredients that I deem necessary and filling and satisfying. And no, it’s not just because I eat an entire ball of fresh mozzarella. But maybe once every now and then that could be why. It’s just that perfect combination of flavors. Tastes like summer. Looks like summer. You can add in an ear (or three) of grilled corn and you have a legit feast. Also, can I tell you how I tricked Eddie into eating this even though he “doesn’t really care for” pistachios? UH HUH. I told him I made a strawberry caprese salad with pesto buuuuut oh-so conveniently left out what kind of pesto it was. Introducing Strawberry Pesto Salad:
I'm kindof obsessed with the strawberry + pesto combination. First I made it as a grilled cheese, then as a pizza, and now as a beautiful salad! This is definitely the healthiest of the three and perfect for Spring!
The pistachios give this salad a protein boost, the jicama gives a cool freshness, and both add a nice crunch. The homemade dressing has a wonderful flavor, boosted with balsamic vinegar and olive oil. And don't worry, if you don't have juicer pulp to use, you can substitute in fresh diced strawberries.
So tell me, what is your favorite way to use leftover juicer pulp?
Wash the strawberries in cold water and drain thoroughly. Hull them and discard the caps.
Combine the berries with the sugar in a large stainless steel or enamel-lined pan and let sit for 3 to 4 hours.
In a medium saucepot, bring the strawberries to a boil slowly, stirring occasionally. Add the lemon juice.
Cook rapidly over medium heat until the strawberry mixture is clear and the syrup is thickened, or about 15 minutes.
Ladle or funnel the strawberry preserves into hot, sterilized jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace.
Process for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath.
Cool and store in the fridge until ready to use.
How to Test for Jelling Point of Jams, Jellies, and Preserves
- Temperature: If you use a candy thermometer, cook the preserves to 220 F or 8 degrees above the boiling point. For each 1,000 feet of altitude above sea level, subtract 2 degrees.
- Freezer Test: Put a few small plates in the freezer. Near the end of the cooking time, begin to test. Drop a dab of jam on an ice-cold plate. Put it back in the freezer for 2 minutes. If the preserves wrinkle a bit when gently pushed with your finger, it is done. If it is still runny and your finger runs through it, continue cooking and test again in a few minutes.
- Cold Spoon Test: Put a few metal spoons in the refrigerator. Dip a cold spoon into the boiling jelly and lift it. Let it run off the spoon. When two drops converge and "sheet" off the spoon, the preserves are done.
- One pint of fresh strawberries weighs approximately 12 ounces. A 1-pound container, once the strawberries are hulled, will weigh about 12 to 14 ounces.
- If the strawberry preserves set up properly, and you follow safe canning practices, the jars will keep for up to a year in a cool, dark place like your pantry.
- If you're not sure if your preserves are properly canned, store them in the fridge and enjoy them within a month.
- Be patient if the strawberry mixture is not reaching the gel point it can take longer depending on altitude, the size of the batch, the pan size, and your stovetop. The proper temperature can't be reached until enough water has been evaporated, so if the berries have a high water content, this process will take longer. Warming the sugar beforehand can help speed things up.
What Is the Difference Between Strawberry Jam and Strawberry Preserves?
Jam and preserves are made in very similar ways and have a similar flavor, but there is one major difference. Preserves tend to be made with whole fruit, so the spread has bigger chunks of fruit than a jam, which is often made of mashed fruit for a smoother texture.
To begin making the Strawberry Jam recipe, wash and cut the strawberries into small pieces.
In a wide bowl, crush strawberries in batches until you have 4 cups of mashed berry. In a heavy bottomed saucepan, mix together the strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice. Stir over low heat until the sugar is dissolved. Increase heat to high, and bring the mixture to a full rolling boil.
Boil, stirring often, until the mixture reaches 220 degrees F (105 degrees C).
If you plan to store the jam for a longer duration, then you can do the following test to get accurate results.
Place three plates in a freezer, after about 10 minutes of boiling place a teaspoon of the liquid of the jam onto the cold plate. Return to freezer for a minute. Run your finger through the jam on the plate, if it doesn't try to run back together (if you can make a line through it with your finger) it's ready to be canned!
If the test is not satisfied, continue to cook the jam a little more.
Transfer the Strawberry Jam to hot sterile jars, leaving 1/4 to 1/2 inch headspace, and seal using the canning method. If the jam is going to be eaten right away in the next few weeks, don't bother with processing, and just refrigerate and use.
Serving suggestions for strawberry salsa
Serve it up snack style as a fun fruity appetizer with tortilla chips or cinnamon sugar dusted pita chips and prepare to swoon. It’s also fantastic over salads and tacos.
This sweet strawberry salsa tastes great on SO MANY things, gah! I think my favorite way to eat it is over my Cilantro Lime Shrimp Salad but this strawberry salsa also tastes great on grilled chicken, fish, or steak. I bet it would also be baller over some crispy pan-fried tofu too.
- 1 ½ cups uncooked fonio or couscous (about 10 ounces)
- 1 cup plus 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 2 ¾ cups water
- 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided, plus more to taste
- 1 dried bay leaf
- 2 cups packed stemmed and roughly chopped collard greens (about 4 ounces)
- ¾ cup unsalted roasted peanuts
- ½ ounces Parmesan cheese, grated on a Microplane (about 1/2 cup)
- ¼ teaspoon grated lemon zest plus 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1 garlic clove, smashed
- 2 teaspoons honey, divided
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper, plus more for garnish
- 2 pounds mixed nectarines and plums (about 5 medium), pitted and cut into 1/2-inch wedges
Stir together fonio and 3 tablespoons oil in a medium saucepan until coated. Add 2 3/4 cups water, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil over medium-high. Cover and reduce heat to low cook 1 minute. Remove from heat let steam, covered, 5 minutes. Uncover and fluff fonio with a fork. Transfer to a large baking sheet, and spread in an even layer. Let cool completely, about 45 minutes. Discard bay leaf.
While fonio cools, bring a large pot of water to a boil over medium-high. Stir in 1 tablespoon salt. Add collard greens cook, stirring occasionally, until bright green, about 2 minutes. Transfer greens to a bowl filled with ice water let cool 2 minutes. Drain and pat greens completely dry. Set aside.
Cook peanuts in a small skillet over medium, stirring often, until toasted and fragrant, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board let cool 5 minutes. Roughly chop 1/4 cup peanuts, and reserve for garnish. Place greens, Parmesan, lemon zest and juice, soy sauce, garlic, 1 teaspoon honey, and remaining 1/2 cup peanuts in a food processor pulse until a coarse paste forms, about 20 pulses. With food processor running, gradually stream in remaining 1 cup oil until well combined, about 45 seconds. Add pepper and 3/4 teaspoon salt pulse until incorporated, about 3 pulses. Transfer mixture to a medium bowl. Season to taste with salt. Set aside.
Toss together nectarines, plums, remaining 1 teaspoon honey, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Let stand 5 minutes.
To serve, spread 1 1/2 cups pesto on a large platter. Top with fonio and nectarine mixture. Drizzle with remaining pesto garnish with reserved chopped peanuts and additional pepper.