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The Palm and Pesto

Posted Jul 22 2011 10:12pm

Monday was Mr. Lemon’s birthday and we went to his favorite restaurant – The Palm . They have their annual summer special – dinner for two which includes two salads, a 3, 4, or 5 pound lobster, and two sides. We got the 5 pounder!

First came the bread basket, and I had one piece of pumpernickel with a thin smear of butter (I could just eat the bread and butter frankly.)

Next came a caesar salad:

Getting ready for that lobster!

Yum…

Did you know that lobsters have a big claw and a small claw? They always give Mr. Lemon the half with the big claw.

The waiter cracks the shells:

That’s a big claw.

I have the little claw.

Lemon Jr. got chicken parmesan:

We had a healthy side and a not so healthy side:

Mr. Lemon got carrot cake for dessert, I forgot to take a picture! And Lemon Jr. had a flourless chocolate cake with berries. He got the berries on the side and I ate those.

Tuesday morning I had a great run which I wrote about yesterday. After the run I had a big strawberry smoothie:

And dates stuffed with crunchy peanut butter.

I had bought a pistachio trail mix at Wegman’s, and this is one of those high calorie items. This is what one serving looks like:

It’s so good though, pistachios, cashews, white chocolate chips and dried cherries.

Tuesday night I made another soup from the Moosewood cookbook – this is the Asian Vegetable Fish soup.

Another super easy, quick recipe, that came out so delicious!

Lots of shitaake mushrooms:

Carrot, onion, red bell pepper. The fish I used is tilapia.

At the end of the process a cornstarch/water/soy sauce/sesame oil mixture is added, which thickens and flavors the soup.

Very light, flavorful and healthy. Even in the hot weather this made a great dinner.

On Wednesday morning I made a buckwheat chocolate breakfast cake .

Lots of ingredients, but it came together quickly, and cooks in the microwave.

I added a topping made from peanut flour combined with chocolate soy milk.

Wednesday night I made wheatberries. I had bought these a couple of weeks ago from the bulk section at Whole Foods, and I cooked them in my rice cooker. They did take quite a while to cook, but it was worth the wait.

I actually didn’t eat them on Wednesday night, I just put them in the fridge for Thursday.

However I did roast some asparagus for dinner:

With maple syrup and quebec seasoning:

I had noticed that my basil plant was growing out of control, so I cut it way back and made some pesto in the Vitamix. This was the best pesto I have ever made, it can’t even compare to pesto made in the food processor.

Look at how green that is! I didn’t eat any for dinner, although I did lick the spatula. I did a little internet research to find some new, or old, ideas for pesto. Here are lots of ideas:

a spread for sandwiches (especially grilled ones) or pizza

try it with sliced tomatoes on toasted Arnold Country Classic White or a bagurette.

Drizzled over caprese salad instead of(or with)olive oil.

Over roasted Roma tomatoes with goat cheese and toasted pine nuts (there my dear recipe is out!). Very good as a winter appetizer when tomatoes otherwise stink).

Make a “Caprese” salad sandwich. Take a baguette, smear it with the pesto and layer fresh mozzarella and tomatoes on its (could also add roasted peppers).

Its good as a marinade for chicken.

Freeze some and serve with bread along with a rich, winter spaghetti & meatball dinner–*killer* good combo!

dilute pesto with olive oil (put into a plastic squeeze bottle), then drizzle “pesto oil” over tomato bisque and top with croutons.

I love putting pesto on tuna/salmon salad sandwiches. Sounds odd, but it’s heavenly…

On portabello mushrooms and bake or grill.

toast or bake some baguette rounds and spread pesto on them for an appetizer.

I like to add chopped capers to it and spread it on a salmon fillet and bake it. I do this with cheese-less pesto; or, I should say, pesto I’ve made to freeze to which I only add cheese at the table. I also like it spread on sandwiches. It’s good stuff!

Just made a nice salad the other day with brown rice, pesto, s&p, grated Parm, sliced grape tomatoes and slivered basil – mix it all together and enjoy!

I’ve used pesto as an accompaniment to roast or grilled chicken, pan-fried fish, cauliflower, potatoes, green beans.

It’s good as a sandwich spread. A little prosciutto, maybe a slice of cheese, and a smear of pesto on crusty bread – what’s not to like?

My son loves it on a chicken sandwich, and on a chicken panini even more.

Some pesto stirred into hummus is lovely. And ditto to the suggestion of using it as a sandwich spread. I quite like goat cheese and pesto on some good bread.

Cilantro pesto is wonderful, perfect on fish tacos.

You beat me to it. I love basil pesto, but I also use cilantro and parsley. I just stumbled onto a recipe for spinach pesto, and I plan on making a batch soon, and it will probably be a mixture of spinach, basil, and another herb (I’ve liked the additions of rosemary and dill with various things).

Also, I like to enhance the olive oil with other types of oil, usually the oils from my sundried tomatoes or artichokes.

Mix it in to yogurt “cheese” for a spread, or thin it out to make it a dip.

Brush pesto on Pizza Margarita in place of olive oil.

More garlic. If you make your own, walnut oil adds some punch. Also, it can go over cheese ravioli and be very tasty. Mix it with a bit of mayo for sandwiches.

In the summer, when you can get really fresh tomatoes it makes a great salad – sliced ripe tomatoes, top with thinly sliced fresh mozzarella, drizzle pesto on top. I like walnuts in pesto as a sub for the pine nuts. Cheaper and have never been able to taste the difference, it just makes the color darker.

for a pasta alternative try steaming littlenecks & toss w/ linguine and a generous dose of pesto.

drizzle on top of quesadillas made with a light cheese combo like provolone, or even use a swiss or romano combo along with some sundried tomatoes rehydrated and diced, and caramelized onions and roasted garlic.

drizzle on top of broccoli soup (gordon ramsay’s version).

on top of omelettes

on top of polenta rounds – cook polenta, let set, then cut into squares or rounds and saute til crisp, serve with a mushroom and onion ragu and pesto

with cornmeal pancakes

great to layer into a terrine — layer pesto, then cream cheese or yogurt blended with roasted garlic, minced garlic, milk, salt and pepper, sundried tomatoes and pine nuts; then more cream cheese mixture, then pesto. let chill in fridge. drizzle with more pesto olive oil and pine nuts to serve with toasted bread.

I mixed mine with (fake) mayo and spread on wheat bread. Added some cheese (pepper jack) and grilled with some canola oil spray. Pretty good. I’m sure would be good on any sandwich.

pesto pizza topped with some thinly sliced potato.

It’s great instead of mustard and mayo on a sandwich.

You can make a rack of lamb and instead of a mustard herb coating – use the pesto! It’s great! Or just make lambchops and slather on when they are almost done.

Mix it 50/50 with some softened unsalted butter, chill, and then put a generous dollop on a freshly grilled steak. Or chicken breast. Or salmon filet. (For that matter, on a piece of toasted sourdough bread!)

grilled portobello mushrooms w/ pesto

A friend of mine mixes a bit of pesto with bottled ranch dressing then tosses with a salad.

add pesto to a cheesecake recipe (swirl into batter) for a savory flavor.

add pesto to ground beef or lamb burgers

add pesto to scrambled eggs or quiche batter

add to cornbread recipe

the cheesecake idea makes me think you could do a savory bread pudding with pesto.

toss with steamed green beans

stir into sauteed zucchini or top grilled zucchini

make a dip by processing with cottage cheese, more parm and a bit of lemon and zest

mix with soft goat cheese and spread on bread or crackers

spread on slices of grilled polenta

simple appetizer: pesto spread on toasted baguette slice topped with sun dried tomato and a shave of parmigiano-reggiano

Drain some ricotta, mix in some of the pesto and some parmesan and a little salt & pepper. Mix rapidly with a wooden spoon until the mixture becomes a little fluffy. Cook your favorite pasta. When its done, add a ladleful of the pasta water to the ricotta/pesto mixture. Drain your pasta and toss with the ricotta/pesto mixture. This is great by itself, but if you have some diced fresh tomato, throw it on top and enjoy.

Now I have no excuse for wasting pesto. Do you grow herbs?

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