Saturday, May 25, 2013
when in doubt, make pesto
I was debating what to do with the rapidly flowering bok choy and turned to my go-to recipe for utilizing a shitload of leafy greens at once. Honestly, it doesn't matter if you're using bok choy, kale, chard, beet greens or whatever, pesto is ALWAYS a winner (and beats the pants off of any stir-fry in my book).
I pulled approximately 1/3 of the bok choy bed and left the remaining plants to finish bolting so that I can save the seeds for next year (I could have pulled more but feared that the remaining, larger plants would be bitter -- they really weren't after I did a taste test). I ended up with 5 cups of bok choy leaves after I removed them from the main stalk and quickly blanched them in boiling water (then submerged them in an ice bath to halt the cooking process). This resulted in 6 cups of pesto after mixing all the following ingredients together. I usually use 1 cup of pesto per 1 pound package of penne pasta.
- 2.5 C. blanched, packed bok choy
- 1 C. grated parmesan cheese
- 3/4 C. extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 C. pine nuts
- 1/4 C. apple cider vinegar
- 1 T. chopped, packed fresh garlic
- freshly ground sea salt, to taste
Traditionally, you don't use vinegar in pesto, but I've found that the vinegar helps cut the little bit of bitterness that sometimes comes through when using leafy greens instead of the usual basil. Throw everything together in a food processor. Mix with your favorite pasta cooked al dente. Freeze the rest.